The Anvil

Until January 4

ONE of the most thrilling moments of this year’s Anvil pantomime Cinderella, directed by Michael Gattrell, is certainly an unexpected one.

It comes courtesy of pantomime dame Jamie Morris, who, at one point, totters on stage wearing the highest possible heels a person’s foot could tolerate!

Jamie also selects a ‘lucky’ member of the audience upon whom to bestow his affections at each performance, resulting in some wonderful improvised comic moments – kudos to Basingstoke dad Sal, who responded to a lot of ribbing in very good humour when I saw the show.

Jamie and his partner in crime Tarot Joseph (they play the Ugly Sisters Cilla and Daisy) are stars throughout the two hour and twenty minute running time, and their amazingly detailed outfits - including a cake stand, Cilla Black and fast food suits - have to be seen to be believed.

They also perform a fun striptease (removing lots and lots of pairs of pants) and an impressive tongue-twisting sequence, aided by Keith Chegwin as a very sunny Buttons.

Basingstoke Gazette:

The familiar plot, one of the most popular pantomimes, is anchored by bright performances across the board. David Alcock is poor Baron Hardup, Gary Jordan plays Dandini and CBeeebies’ Katy Ashworth is a high-energy funky trainee fairy in glittering boots.

Basingstoke Gazette:

I don’t think the smile ever leaves Cheggers’ face and he seems to particularly love making Cinderella (Sarah Louise Day, also the show’s choreographer) and Prince Charming (Ben Harlow) laugh in one scene when they’re supposed to be frozen and unable to move!

He also coaches the audience for a fun version of The Music Man just before the show’s finale, sustains the interest of younger theatregoers with lots of encouragement during shouted responses and sings I’ll Be There For You alongside the very talented young local dancers from North Hampshire Academy of Dance and Basingstoke Academy of Dance. 

The soundtrack to all of the merriment includes Anything Can Happen If You Let It from Mary Poppins and popular recent songs from chart-topping acts, including Pharrell Williams’ Happy, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and One Direction’s Steal My Girl.

And there’s also a memorable appearance on stage by incredibly cute Shetland ponies Lala and Crystal, who take Cinderella off to the ball at the conclusion of Act One.

Join in the fun at The Anvil until January 4!

Tickets can be booked online at

*A special relaxed performance will take place on Friday, January 2 at 2pm. It is suitable for those with a range of disabilities or anyone on the autistic spectrum. Contact the box office for further details on 01256 844244.