When I was a child, one of my family’s traditions was to go to a Pantomime around New Year every year. It was always somewhere different, from big theatre productions to small church hall shows, but no matter where we went, it was always fun and something I looked forward to.
It was a tradition that I was keen to carry on with my own family, but owing to not having a car for a long time, is only something we’ve got into the habit of doing for the last few years, since having our own family car.
The first time we went was 3 years ago now, after my parents offered to take us all to the production at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable. We laughed so much our faces hurt, it brought back fond memories of my own childhood.
We were hooked and have been back every year since, always to The Grove.
This year’s performance of Aladdin certainly didn’t disappoint.
Parking is plentiful and free on Sundays and Bank Holidays. At other times it’s paid but prices are very reasonable and the same as the rest of the town centres parking charges.
We pre-booked our tickets online back at the beginning of December and the booking process is very simple. The last day of performances are always cheap tickets, at £15.50 per person, and due to us being a large family, we choose to go on this day each year to keep costs down.
We collected our tickets from Reception on arrival while awaiting the arrival of other family members in the spacious foyer.
We also purchased light spinners and wands for the younger children, which we feel are very reasonably priced at £4.50-£5 each, and quite robust too, we still have some from previous performances that are still going strong. Programmes and refreshments are also available to purchase.
The performance began on time and the first half lasted about an hour, with a 15 minute interval before resuming the second half for around another hour.
Just right timing wise, especially for young children, with adequate time to go to the toilets, which were clean and had plenty of cubicles, and have refreshments during the interval.
The performance itself was brilliant. We laughed from start to finish, so much so that our cheeks hurt!
Brilliant music and a fabulous cast, with Coronation Streets Brian Capron a fabulous Abanazar and CBBC’s Ed Petrie a brilliant Wishy Washy. The cast all gelled really well and you could really see that they were enjoying themselves as much as we were. Plenty of hilarious ad-libbing and of course the classic “It’s behind you!” moments you expect from the Panto. The kids, especially the youngest joined in and really got involved with the storyline.
Youngest cried when it was over because she wanted to see it again!
Overall, it was a brilliant way for us as a family to round off our Christmas celebrations and a great way to start the New Year. I’m sure we’ll be back again. We thoroughly recommend the Dunstable Panto at The Grove Theatre 🎭, a fun trip suitable for the whole family.
(This post contains no sponsored material, just us writing about our own experiences).