Anvil Arts, Basingstoke
Anvil Arts – The Gruffalo on Stage (Gifted for review)
Julia Donaldson books are a big hit in our house and we have a rather large collection. My four year old daughter loves these stories at bedtime and equally loves dressing up as some of the characters. In fact she dressed up as the mouse for World Book Day!
One of her favourites is The Gruffalo. A story about a little mouse in the wood who desperately tries to avoid being eaten by other animal predators. He actually manages to do it in a clever way.
So when an opportunity arose to go and see The Gruffalo at one of the Anvil Arts theatres in Basingstoke, we were there!
Anvil Arts are a large performing arts company and have three venues in Basingstoke. There is The Anvil, The Forge and The Haymarket which is where we went.
Situated in the heart of the town, The Haymarket is a lovely venue and great for this family occasion. However, it’s not just for kids, as there are plenty of shows and comedy acts that are put on all the time.
Anvil Arts – The Haymarket
We went along to The Gruffalo on stage on Saturday afternoon, and we were greeted at the door as we went into The Haymarket by friendly staff. There were also Gruffalo books and toys for sale and a lovely warm family atmosphere.
We were directed up the stairs where we were slightly early. So we sat in the clean cafe area with a drink and a snack before going in and taking our seats.
As soon as we entered, we were offered a booster seat for Eva. I did think she would be too big for it, but it was actually perfect for keeping her high in her seat to watch the performance and keeping her comfortable.
The Gruffalo on Stage
We certainly weren’t disappointed by the performance put on by theatre organisation Tall Stories. Great for family entertainment and long enough to keep little ones interested without becoming too tired and restless. There were plenty of comedy moments and songs for the audience to clap along to.
I would say it was perfect for all round entertainment. Not just for the children but for the adults too. The stage was set with the recognisable features illustrated in the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books.
The verdict was a definite thumbs up from Eva and from Mummy and Daddy!
Other Shows at Anvil Arts
Having this fun family and for us, alternative day out (as opposed to heading to the park) has made us look at other shows and acts going on. There are some great looking comedy acts coming up at the three venues including the funny Romesh Ranganathan and a snooker comedy sketch by Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis. Very different!
For something slightly more classic, there is Jane Eyre and the festive Nutcracker coming up. Plus a great looking Christmas show that I quite fancy – The Chicago Blues Brothers Christmas Party. I think it would be brilliant for a group of friends or colleagues.
As well as comedy, musicals and children’s shows, there are also workshops that are held at the different places. Coming up is a glass fusing workshop, calligraphy and crochet. For learning something a little more unique, try an arm knitting workshop! Better still, some of these might make great gifts for a day or evening out.