Beauty and The Beast Review
When we were invited back to The Anvil in Basingstoke to review Beauty and The Beast, we were very excited. Not only because of course all performances were cancelled last year, but also because it’s such a fabulous venue. My husband Darrel, our almost seven year old daughter Eva and I had been two years before – which was mine and Eva’s very first panto experience!
The Anvil is one of three theatres in Basingstoke run by registered charity Anvil Arts. It is a 1400 seated theatre and very impressive. It’s situated in the heart of the town, with plenty of parking at the Festival Place shopping centre (which takes around five minutes to walk through).
Arriving at The Anvil
We arrived around fifteen minutes before the pantomime Beauty and The Beast was due to start. There was a short queue that moved pretty quickly – so we were inside in no time. I collected our tickets and programme from the Box Office without waiting – and all the staff were very friendly.
Inside the venue masks were advised to be worn at all times, which wasn’t an issue for us. It wasn’t crowded, and queues for refreshments were short. There is an option to pre-order your drinks and snacks online which helps with congestion before entering the theatre.
We headed up to our seats and had plenty of time to get comfortable and take it all in. The stage was all set up and sound and lighting was amazing.
Enjoying Beauty and The Beast
There were lots of little girls wearing their Belle dresses in the audience. And there were a lot of ‘wows’ when Belle appeared on stage in her famous gold ball gown. The show was a mix of romance and side splitting comedy – especially from the hilarious duo Polly La Plonk (played by Eastenders star Nick Wilton) and Louis La Plonk (played by Chris Pizzey from Basil Brush). And male chauvinistic Hugo Pompidou – who insisted that Belle was to marry him was my absolute favourite (played by Michael Quinn). His one liners, occasional innuendos and comical French accent was just brilliant.
The beautiful Belle was played by Maria Coyne, and she had a fantastic singing voice. And her father Clement was brilliantly played by Marcus Knibbs.
The Beast (and prince) was played by the very talented and Strictly champion, Joe McFadden. He even sang Shivers by Ed Sheeran when expressing his love for Belle – which also got me singing along!
In fact the music and dancing was fab all the way through. And not mentioning the classic ‘He’s Behind You!’ ‘Oh No He Isn’t!’ lines – and the booing of Hugo Pompidou whenever he made an appearance. Everyone got into the spirit of the pantomime, with clapping and singing, and many of the children were dancing in their seats. It really felt very Christmassy.
Knowing the story of The Beauty and The Beast, there was anticipation of seeing The Beast transform. It was very cleverly done towards the end, and of course the handsome Prince was revealed.
I was also amazed by the sound and lighting throughout the performance, and everything from the acting to the behind the scenes was so professional. I highly recommend going to see the show – it’s so much fun and incredibly entertaining from beginning to end.
- Dates: Thursday 9th December 2021 – Sunday 2nd January 2022
- Tickets: Available to Book Here
- Box Office: 01256 844244 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes including interval (Approx)
- Suitable for all the family
- Venue: The Anvil, Churchill Way East, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7QR
I was kindly gifted tickets for my family to enjoy the pantomime and give an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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