Image by Phil Tragen

Yorkshire’s biggest family pantomime, Cinderella, opened last Saturday to packed houses and will run for the next 5 weeks at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford.

Pantomime legend, Billy Pearce, leads the star-studded line-up of Yorkshire’s biggest panto playing the loveable Buttons. He will be joined by Emmerdale star Samantha Giles as The Wicked Stepmother; and celebrity baker and Strictly Come Dancing finalist John Whaite as Dandini.

Billy, Samantha, and John are joined by Dale Mathurin as Prince Charming; Yorkshire local Sarah Pearson (who hails from Huddersfield) in the title role of Cinderella; Phil Hitchcock as Magician Baron Hardup; and Wendy Somerville and Larissa Alexandrovnia as The Wicked Stepsisters.

Billy Pearce first topped the bill of the Alhambra Theatre’s annual festive production in 1993, winning acclaim from critics and audience members alike, and has since solidified his reputation as the King of Yorkshire comedy. Side-splittingly funny, Billy will bring his trademark mad-cap comedy and boundless energy to the stage and will have audiences laughing in the aisles just like he does every year.

Samantha Giles is best-known for her long-running role as Bernice Blackstock in Emmerdale, a role for which she won the TV Quick Award for Best Actress and a National Television Award nomination for Most Popular Actress. She has also played Sally Boothe in three series of Where the Heart Is, Valerie Holden in Hollyoaks and has appeared in various other shows, including Dangerfield, Doctors, The Case, Coronation Street, Mad Dogs and True Crime. Samantha’s film credits include appearing alongside Rob Lowe in the film Midnight Man and she has also had roles in several stage productions including Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey, Absent Friends and Dead Funny.

John Whaite is a British Cook, Cookery Author, content creator and TV presenter. John appeared as the first all-male couple on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 and danced his way into the final alongside his professional partner Johannes Radebe. John also won the third series of The Great British Bake Off and is a co-presenter on Channel 4’s hit primetime food investigation programme Food Unwrapped.

Dale Mathurin has performed extensively with the RSC taking him around the UK, USA, and China, and has starred as The Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Bristol Hippodrome and Milton Keynes Theatre for the past two seasons with Crossroads Pantomimes.

Sarah Pearson is a 2022 graduate from The Arden School of Theatre. Her most recent credits include Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder (Edinburgh Fringe, Bristol Old Vic, and Manchester Home), the farewell celebration Encore and pantomime Robin Hood at the Oldham Coliseum, and Graham Lappins Climb Way Up at Hope Mill Theatre, for which she has recently recorded the studio album.

Phil Hitchcock’s international reputation is certainly no illusion. Phil has previously graced the stage of The London Palladium in the smash hit production of Goldilocks. He returns to the Alhambra Theatre in the new role of Magician Baron Hardup in Cinderella, having last performed here in 2006/07 in Aladdin with Billy Pearce.

Larissa Alexandrovnia trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Her theatre credits include Sister Act (UK Tour), Zanna, Don't! (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), The Little Mermaid the Musical (National Tour of China) and Mother Goose (Lamproom Theatre, Yorkshire).

Wendy Somerville’s theatre credits include Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre, UK & Ireland Tour), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre & Adelphi Theatre), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre) and Cinderella (London Palladium). Wendy has also appeared on television shows including Billy Elliot the Musical Live (Universal Pictures), Royal Variety Performance 2007 and 2010 (ITV), Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (Universal Pictures) and Les Misérables Concert at Windsor Castle. Her recordings include Sweeney Todd (2012 London cast recording) and Michael Ball: Past and Present.

This year also welcomes the return of The Sunbeams to the Alhambra Theatre’s pantomime, provided by Sara Packham Theatre School in Keighley. The tradition of the Sunbeams (the children’s dance troupe) in pantomimes at the Alhambra Theatre can be traced back to the 1930s, under the leadership of Francis Laidler who built the venue in 1914 and directed many pantos there over the decades.

There is a performance for everybody this festive season at the Alhambra Theatre: with signed performances on 14 December at 2pm and 14 January at 5pm; audio described performances on 4 January at 2pm and 7.15pm; a captioned performance on 7 January at 5pm, and a relaxed performance on 9 January at 6pm. The relaxed performance will welcome everyone who would like to see the panto in a less formal atmosphere.

Cinderella is produced by Crossroads Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer and the same team behind the annual Alhambra Theatre pantomime for over 20 years. Cinderella is directed by Ed Curtis, returning for his 12th Alhambra Theatre pantomime. As well as the talented cast, ground-breaking special effects once again take centre-stage, created by The Twins FX who have been delivering these visual treats to Alhambra Theatre audiences over the past 9 years.

Cinderella is now open and closes on Sunday 21 January 2024 - it has all the fun, laughter, magic, and special effects that audiences have come to expect from the Alhambra Theatre pantomime each festive season. Don’t miss Bradford’s ultimate festive treat and book your tickets now!

Cinderella - Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Saturday 9 December 2023 – Sunday 21 January 2024

Relaxed Performance - Tuesday 9 January 2024 at 6pm

Tickets: £42.75 - £18.75 (inclusive of booking fees)

Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit


Alhambra Theatre
Alhambra Theatre Night

Professional theatre providing classic drama, musicals, ballet, opera, pantomime, international dance and West End tours. 1914 Restaurant - A luxurious and sumptuous new dining experience in a brand new purpose built restaurant.

Christmas - Pantos, Theatre and Music

Pantomime will be making a magical return to the Alhambra Theatre this festive season.



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