Last weekend we took the children to The Anvil in Basingstoke for our annual pantomime trip. We’d never been to The Anvil before but loved it as soon as we arrived and the children couldn’t wait to see Sleeping Beauty.
The Anvil is in the heart of Basingstoke, easily accessible from the train station but also surrounded by parking options. It has a bar for refreshments and a really large foyer, perfect for relaxing before the show or meeting friends.
This year’s Sleeping Beauty show stars Sue Holderness from Only Fools and Horses as the evil fairy Carabosse, Katrina Bryan, who the children love from the CBeebies’ Nina and the Nuerons show, who plays Rose and Sarah-Jane Buckley who I remembered from Hollyoaks playing the fairy godmother.
We were also treated to performances of Nanny by Charles Burden and Silly Billy by Mark James as well as lots of children performing from the local Basingstoke Academy of Dance – something the children loved as they could really relate to the children up on stage.
The story is a really modern take on Sleeping Beauty which works really well – introducing us to the characters and showing how Rose ended up with that fateful curse and how she came to be sleeping – and finally how she was woken at the end.
The show has so many different scenes, split into two acts and all are full of familiar songs and dances that we all really enjoyed. Silly Billy and Nanny made regular appearances and they were, without a doubt, the children’s favourite part of the show. The were likeable, funny and just so entertaining. There was a good amount of audience participation and we were laughing throughout.
We really enjoyed Sleeping Beauty. It had so many special effects – and one part where characters were able to travel through time! It had just the right amount of singing, the right amount of dancing and it was packed full of fun and laughter.
There were jokes that the children loved and ones that were more tailored to the adults in the audience and really the whole show was perfect for any age to go and see it. Little Man – at three and a half – loved the show as much as me – in my thirties! Sleeping Beauty is definitely a show that can span generations, making it the perfect pantomime to go and see with family and friends.
We went to see Sleeping Beauty at 6pm and didn’t leave until 8:45pm. It’s not a short show but including a well timed interval makes it just the right length and the children coped well with the pace of the show and being up past their bed time!
Sleeping Beauty has been the show of our festive season. We loved seeing it as a family and it was a great introduction to The Anvil. Having already been to Haymarket in Basingstoke it was great to see what The Anvil was like – and we will definitely be back. This show could easily have been on West End – we haven’t stopped talking about it since we left the theatre. If you want to see a panto this year definitely go and see Sleeping Beauty at The Anvil, Basingstoke. It’s on until 2nd January and you can see the full dates here.
Disclosure: We were invited to the above show for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.