Written by Victoria Kennedy, Thefairyclothesmother.com (thank you VERY much Victoria for the awesome review!!!
Snow white: http://www.anvilarts.org.uk/snow-white
When offered the chance to attend the Christmas Panto at The Anvil, Basingstoke, I jumped at the chance. Many of my fond childhood memories are of attending the local panto! Panto’s are guaranteed family fun! And this one didn’t disappoint! There was plenty of audience participation- from song and dances, sweetie-chucking and water pistols to the traditional panto villain ‘boo’s’ and comedy slapstick of ‘He’s behind you’.
The Anvil Arts centre is an award winning concert hall, with amazing acoustics and an international reputation. The beautiful set design had the children captured from the beginning. With special effects such as indoor pyro- there were plenty of mesmerised faces!
A special mention has to be given to ‘Nurse Dolly’s’ wardrobe (I am a stylist after all! ). She had some absolutely stunning dresses, each unique and I would have loved the opportunity to study each in great detail! Take a look for yourself:
Snow White was played by Dani Harmer, of CBBC fame. She played the character well and her gentle, ‘girl next-door’ manner soon had the audience on side.
The Wicked Queen, played by Kirsty Sparks, was both terrifying and utterly lovable at the same time! The stars of the show, form y 5 year old son, was Muddles, played by Chris Pizzey (Basil Brush’s Mr Stephens). His jokey character got the children on side meaning audience participation was full on! The jokes had the kids roaring with laughter, creating a fantastic atmosphere. There was even a subtle ‘dad joke’ or two!
Personally, I loved the dwarves. Each played to their name sake well, with names carefully adapted so not to gain the wrath of Disney! They were both cheeky and lovable!
The show runs until 6th January with both matinee and evening performances- get your tickets here: http://www.anvilarts.org.uk/your-visit/how-to-book/online-booking-information?ticketing_id=A8PE
Take ear defenders for children who are bothered by loud noises, as there are a few loud bangs. Also there is (without ruining the surprise) a brief moment involving water & the audience, if this is something that could bother your child ask at the info desk for the timing of the ‘stunt’ so you can be ready!
‘Flashy’ wands and the like are for sale but we took our own from previous events. This was allowed and certainly saved a small fortune as well as reducing our plastic consumption.
Dressing up was encouraged- there were many mini snow whites in the audience!
There is a selection of treats – sweeties, ice cream, crisps on sale at the venue. However, as a huge cost saver I’d recommend taking your own! The show is 2 hrs 35 min long so a drink will most definitely be needed. There is also a bar available.
The Anvil is fully accessible to wheelchair users, and pushchairs. There are facilities for baby changing. The audience was a real mix of ages, so babes-in-arms are certainly welcomed. There is a bar onsite for refreshments.
The Anvil is easily accessed from any of the town centre car parks and just a 2 min walk from the train & bus station.
This is my only point of contention. The cost of a family visiting the theatre is becoming massively out of reach for many families. Unfortunately this is something that is happening with the panto too. At £28 per adult and £25 per child – a cost of over £100 for a family of 4 it means a big majority miss out. The Anvil does offer group rates, and discounted tickets to local schools.
Ratingout of 5
4 a great afternoon of family fun, with laughter, cheers, boo’s and song! Plus the most wonderful panto dame costume!!!
All images courtesy of Anvil Arts
Disclaimer: This post is a review of “Snow White Seven Dwarves and the in conjunction with The Anvil. Victoria’s tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.
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