Anvil Arts’ magical Christmas pantomime this year is Sleeping Beauty, starring Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses), Katrina Bryan (CBeebies’ Nina and the Neurons) and Sarah-Jane Buckley (Hollyoaks).
At the christening of the king and queen’s long-wished-for baby, seven good fairies are invited to be godmothers to the Princess. However, the evil Carabosse is left off the list, so she curses the baby. Princess Briar Rose will prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die. The Good Fairy manages to change the enchantment to falling asleep for 100 years – to be awakened by a kiss from a prince.
Sue Holderness will play the role of Carabosse, the Bad Fairy. Sue is best known as Marlene Boyce in one of the nation’s favourite sitcoms Only Fools and Horses, a role which she played from 1984 until the final episode in 2003. She went on to co-star with on-screen husband John Challis in the spin-off The Green Green Grass. A seasoned performer on stage, Sue regularly performs in pantomime which she loves (usually being wicked!).
Katrina Bryan will play the part of Princess Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty. Katrina is known to children as Nina in the hit CBeebies series Nina and the Neurons. The award-winning show has been on television since 2007.
Taking the role of the Good Fairy is Sarah-Jane Buckley best known for playing Kathy Barnes in Hollyoaks. On stage, she has appeared as Eva Cassidy in Over the Rainbow and Songbird (which she co-produced); both have successfully been to The Haymarket (2011 and 2014). Sarah Jane has just completed a part in the feature film Kicks.
Making a very welcome return to The Anvil as the Prince is Ben Harlow, who played Prince Charming in Cinderella in 2014.
Joining them will be comedy star Mark James as Silly Billy, Charles Burden as Nanny Glucose and Phil Cole as the King, as well as local young dancers for the North Hampshire Academy of Dance, JG Dance and Basingstoke Academy of Dancing.
Featuring traditional pantomime ingredients for the whole family, Sleeping Beauty’s glittering costumes, sensational songs and dazzling dance routines are guaranteed to keep you awake!
Sleeping Beauty, at The Anvil, will run from Thursday 8 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017.
There is a relaxed performance on Wednesday 21 December at 2pm. This is a specially adapted performance for those on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities.
Tickets are now on sale, so call The Anvil box office on 01256 844244. For the most up-to-date information, visit www.anvilarts.org.uk.