Great Britain

Billy Pearce's mixed feelings after 2020 panto called off

BILLY Pearce says he will miss taking to the stage for this year's Bradford pantomime after it was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The entertainer has become an annual festive fixture on the stage at the Alhambra Theatre each Christmas, but that run has come to a temporary halt this year due to the pandemic.

The production of Sleeping Beauty which was due to run from December 12 to January 24 has been rescheduled.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Sleeping Beauty will now be at the Alhambra from Saturday, December 11, 2021, to Sunday, January 16, 2022.

In a statement Bradford Theatres, in conjunction with Qdos Entertainment, decided to put off the show "with great sadness" due to recent government advice on Covid-19 and to protect the health and wellbeing of audiences, cast and crew.

But Billy says he has mixed feelings that the show has been put off for this year; glad he now has a definitive answer but disappointed for theatre staff and the audiences.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

He said: "It's like a bad dream.

"I'm going to miss this year's panto, the camaraderie. It's so intense.

"It's mixed feelings. It's nice that we have a definitive answer and it's been postponed until next year. I can get on with my life now.

I know where I stand now. I have been told I will be back for the 2021 pantomime

"I feel a little bit guilty. I feel bad for all of the theatres everywhere, like St George's Hall and the Alhambra. They employ a lot of people. We are all left twiddling our thumbs at the moment.

"I also feel sorry for the punters, the people that pay to see the panto. I don't like letting people down, even though I can't do anything about this.

"It's like a nightmare, the way the whole thing has gone.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"I have had some wonderful messages from people. It's a shame to have to do this.

"I don't have anything lined up to replace it this year at the moment, absolutely nothing.

The entertainment industry has kind of been forgotten

"I was pretty low about it all and worried about the financial side of things. Lots of my friends are in showbusiness and I feel bad for everybody."

Billy added he was also originally due to appear in shows including in Blackpool and Leeds in the coming weeks, but these have all been cancelled.

He added: "I am going to have to rehearse when I do get back on stage as I can only remember to say 'Good evening'.

"I have not missed the fear side of it all (live performing), but I have missed working."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

He says he has been staying at home during lockdown but has taken part in online comedy shows and also recorded messages for people on video.

Billy also says he plans to start recording new music from his home recording studio.

Ticketholders will automatically be issued a new performance date for the new pantomime run. They are advised to go to to see this adjustment in a schedule format.

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