Cinderella at Anvil Arts, Basingstoke

Pantomime season is in full flow and we love his time of year! I polished my slippers and headed to Anvil Arts in Basingstoke to watch their pantomime, Cinderella.

I was just in time to see Debbie McGee take to the stage as the Fairy Godmother. She looked dazzling in her wonderful costume. Rhyming her way through the show and appearing with a sprinkle of pyrotechnic magic!

I was amazed by Chris Pizzey who played Buttons, he didn’t just perform in the show but also directed the production this year.

I had fun watching this rags to riches story in its full pantomime glory with stunning scenery and wonderful costumes.

A double pantomime dame act from Nic Gibney and Duncan Burt as the ugly sisters, brought a carriage of smutty innuendo jokes, which thankfully went above my head. I loved their elaborate costumes, especially the “Queenex Tissue” one at the beginning!

With all the hallmark pantomime cues, like the ghostly bench scene which had kids in the audience scream “It’s behind you” to an elaborate scene when real Shetland ponies appeared on stage with Cinderella’s carriage, it was very entertaining. The only bits missing from the pantomime were more belly laughs and more audience participation needed.

Rachel Grundy who played Cinderella belted out her parts with enthusiasm while Joseph Hewlett stole the show as Prince Charming, with great stage presence and an amazing voice he really was a class act.

A special mention to the villagers, as they were fantastic dancers. It was especially nice to see some of them with more involvement this year, Jacob Whawell was brilliant and a real character!

Throughout the performance Cinderella got teased and bullied by her ugly step sisters, which was hard to watch at times and it would have been nice to see them change their ways at the end, but alas these pantomime villains got taken away instead.

I would have liked to see a more modern take on this classic Cinderella story, as a lot of the songs in the show I didn’t know, but I clapped along regardless. With not many popular culture cues for kids to pick up on, I felt they missed a trick this year!

Lots of doom and gloom references like England crashing out of the World Cup, the energy crisis, MPs behaving badly and Liz Truss, left us feeling a bit flat.

Entertaining none the less and enjoyable to watch. This pantomime would make a great festive treat. Tickets range from £19 to £32. Book online or call the Box Office on 01256 844244.

Love Bella x 

Disclosure: I was gifted tickets in order to review, all thoughts, videos and photos are my own.

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