When the opportunity to go and see Cinderella at The Anvil, Basingstoke popped into my inbox and I caught sight of the names Keith Chegwin and Katy Ashworth there was no way I could say no!!! Hot off the excitement of seeing Robin Hood earlier in the week all day Sunday was spent listening to “are we going yet!”. The hour drive to Basingstoke was then filled with “are we there yet”! But it was worth it! Cheggers and Katy didn't disappoint! Full of energy and excitement, really engaging and the script was full of throwbacks to cooking which the children loved!
Keith Chegwin as Buttons (Anvil Arts)
The children are too young to really appreciate who Cheggers is but as children of the 80's Daddy Moo and I were beside ourselves! Katy, on the other hand needed no introduction seeing as she has entertained all 3 moo's on Cbeebies presenting one of the flagship series I Can Cook. Recently she has returned, after the birth of her son Charlie (great taste in names) in more of a presenter role – which thankfully puts me off the hook having to cook her creations with Olive! Phew!
Cinderella is everything you want in a panto! Fairy Godmother check! Happless hero check! 2 drag queens check! Incredibly good looking prince check and lots of cute children dancing check check!
Cbeebies Katy Ashworth as the Fairy Godmother (Anvil Arts)
My favourite bits were when the cast kept calling for the house lights to come up and then they randomly started telling someone in the audience they weren't participating properly and that person had to stand up by themselves and do a solo! So very funny!! Also when Ugly Sister Cilla, played by Jamie Morris, tried on the glass slipper and fell off his chair loosing his wig a startled Moo shouted “MUMMY IT'S A BOY!” bless him! It must have been the super fabulous array of outfits that Cilla and Daisy (played by Tarot Joseph) wore had him none the wiser! I mean how many people do you know that can get away with dressing up as a burger and fries! McDonald's McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut!
Cilla, Cinderella and Daisy (Anvil Arts)
Sarah Louise Day, was adorable as Cinderella and Prince Charming, Ben Harlow; sang a rendition of Olive's favourite 1D song everybody wants to steal my girl! The story was very traditional and had all the classic panto jokes and two adorable white ponies pulling the pumpkin carriage! We really enjoyed it! However we did find the Basingstoke audience took a while to wake up! Unlike us mad 5 screaming “Buttons” and jumping up in our seats! It wasn't a busily attended performance and the adult to child ratio was quite high which is where I think the atmosphere was a little lacking.
Cinderella runs until Sunday 4 January 2015. A Relaxed Performance will be held on Friday 2 January, at 2pm. This specially adapted performance is for those on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities.
The relaxed performance means that the auditorium lights will remain on throughout, and the audience free to come and go during the performance. Additional wheelchair spaces will be created in the auditorium and the performance will also be signed. The foyers remain open and the audience can watch the performance via a television relay if they prefer; there are also Quiet Zones in The Forge and the Linden Room.
During the performance itself, the music and sound effects will be quieter and gentler in tone, and no pyrotechnics will be used.
Tickets are now on sale, so call The Anvil box office on 01256 844244. For the most up-to-date information, use the Anvil Arts website anvilarts.org.uk