At the Palace Theatre, Manchester
|The Sheriff of Nottingham||Richard Gibson|
|Maid Marion||Bernadette Nolan|
|Nurse Wanda||Barry Howard|
|Robin Hood||Ann Sidney|
|Little John||Jamie Fowlds|
|John||Mark Dooley / Adam Booth|
|Jennifer||Kirsty Baxter / Rebecca Farrington|
|Bad Robber||Tommy Cannon|
|Good Robber||Bobby Ball|
Since their professional debut twenty years ago Cannon and Ball have become Britain's favourite comedy stars. Not only that, they are the biggest box office attraction in the UK outselling even the rock superstar Bruce Springsteen.
Yet the basis of their professional success is the friendship between two Oldham lads who were workmates welding in an engineering factory in the 1960's. Robert Harper and Tommy Derbyshire became the Harper brothers, a singing duo - working in the Northern clubs by night. As time went on they developed their natural flair for comedy, Tommy acting as the straight faced foil to Bobby's funny man routine. Their popularity increased as the comedy content grew stronger.
The breakthrough to professional status came after their first appearance outside Lancashire when bobby's cousin Wally Harper booked them for a week at a club in Wales. The response was terrific; Tommy and Bobby gave up their day jobs and The Harper Brothers became Cannon and Ball. Never again would they be reprimanded by the foreman for rehearsing their act on the factory floor!
Cannon and Ball went from strength to strength; from club appearances to TV shows and specials, from the exacting Lancashire club audiences to tours in Australia and the Middle East. Wherever they appear box office records are borken. They have also successfully ventured into both films - starring in their own feature film, The Boys in Blue - and recording. (Their most recent album is The Greatest Love).
One of the many highspots of their career in 1987 was their appearance in the Royal Variety Show before Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Cannon and Ball are the only act in show-business to have won three separate National Club Awards as well as receiving the highest accolade that can be bestowed by their fellow professionals being named as Showbusiness Personalities of the Year by the Variety Club of Great Britain.
Despite their fabulous success Tommy and Bobby have not lost touch with reality. And in their rare off-stage moments still enjoy their hobbies. Bobby's favourite pastime is fishing while Tommy plays golf, following football and the future of his race horse.
"We have no pretensions", says Tommy, "We're a couple of ordinary blokes doing what we do best - entertaining people and making them laugh. We love it".
It has always been one of the ambitions of Cannon and Ball to play in Pantomime at Manchester's Palace Theatre, this season is a dream come true.
Dates And Prices
Fri 16th December - Sun 26th February
Generally two performances daily, afternoon matinee and evening performance
|Stalls||�9.50, �7.50, �5.50|
|Grand Tier||�5.50, �4.00|
|Boxes||�28.50, �22.50, �16.50, �11.00|