You shall go to the ball this Christmas at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, who have today announced further casting for this year’s family pantomime, Cinderella. 

Earlier this year, Bradford Theatres revealed the return of pantomime legend Billy Pearce, who will lead the star-studded line up of Yorkshire’s biggest panto playing the loveable Buttons. Today (Monday 26 June) Bradford Theatres are delighted to announce 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.

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.

On starring at the Alhambra Theatre this Christmas, Samantha said: 

“I am beyond excited to be playing the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella at the Bradford Alhambra Theatre. I'm really looking forward to working with Billy Pearce, the absolute King of Panto, and the Alhambra itself is such a beautiful theatre that I have long wished to work at.”

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. Since June 2020, John has been seen engaging in debates on current affairs and cooking inspirational and achievable recipes on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch.

On his casting, John said:

“I am so excited to make my panto debut in the wonderful city of Bradford. Yorkshire audiences are the best, and I can’t wait to spend Christmas laughing every day with Billy and Samantha. See you at the ball!”

Cinderella will be produced by the world’s biggest pantomime producer and the team behind the 2022 production of Jack and the Beanstalk, Crossroads Pantomimes. The production will be packed full of the magical ingredients Bradford audiences have come to expect from their annual festive production -laugh out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

Join Cinders as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her very wicked sisters and meets her Prince Charming. The clock is ticking, so book your tickets now!

Full casting for Cinderella will be announced later in 2023.

Tickets available here: Cinderella | The Alhambra Theatre (