We had a ball at Cinderella!

We had such a great time at Cinderella at the  Towngate Theatre in Basildon

Apologies for the delay in sharing this, what a week full of poorly kids, an ambulanced dad, and an a&e visit thrown in too. Thankfully over the worst now and it’s time to catch-up on sharing the good bits. Usually happy to share the bad too, but honestly this week has been a shocker and I don’t want to dwell on it. ⁣

The Panto was so much fun, so professionally put together, we loved it and were very impressed. Not sure I can fault anything. ⁣There were so many wow moments, I don’t want to spoil it, but it was magical. I was totally that mama who got all emotional at times, caught up in the music or the magic. Then was thinking oh my goodness I’m that idiot crying at a Panto!! ⁣

Loved how Ruby just got so wrapped up in the show and was up dancing in the isles. This is a girl who is so anxious and self conscious yet she  clearly was having the best time. She danced the night away, and was having a ball – quite appropriately so considering it was Cinderella! I tried numerous times to get video clips of her but she busted me every single time, so the blink and you miss it moment in the video is the best you get I’m afraid!  I need to get better at being sneaky with the filming!!⁣

Grayson – well you heard for yourself in the video, thinks it’s one of the best panto’s he has seen. He kept saying to me how amazing it was and how much he loved it, which was so special. ⁣

Hallie, just adored every second. She was completely in awe and looked so excited. I just wish she could tell her face that when she is speaking on camera 😂 I think the nerves kick in and she is concentrating on what she is trying to say. Bless her, I have to remember she is only 5! ⁣

The theatre is such a great space. It’s really accessible, and has a ground level entrance, which is wheelchair accessible. Seats in the stalls are also wheelchair accessible. I was super impressed with how lovely every single member of staff was that we interacted with. The cast too, we got to have a chat with Cinders and Prince Charming after the show, totally unplanned and they were so friendly and happy to chat. It’s the little things that make all the difference to an experience.  Taking the time to talk to the children and to actually listen to them is a huge deal, and it’s so appreciated. Life is busy for all, but to take a moment to be kind is so beneficial to all.  ⁣

I love that the theatre is keen to have more accessible performances for shows appearing there in the future. They are also keen to talk about how they can be more accessible in general, and to run workshops, and I am excited to find out more post the crazy Panto season.  Love that through starting this blog, and sharing our adventures I can help shape the future for other families and people with disabilities. It was never my main intention, but wow it feels great to be able to share our thoughts, experiences and ideas.  Thank you to the Towngate Theatre for caring and for your kind invite to your wonderful Panto.  Look forward to catching up in the New Year ⁣

Said from a genuine loving heart – whilst we are always grateful to be invited to a venue for a visit or to see a performance, whether as an organised PR trip or as an individual visit for our family to be able to share with our followers,  I am very honest about my views and reviews.  What I share here and on my social media is totally our own views and opinions and is not influenced in any way by the venue.  

But on that note – I’d say go book yourself some tickets and visit!! Its a great show and I think you’d really enjoy it

**All The Important Stuff**

How do I book tickets and also where can I find out more information:  Check out the website right here: Towngate Theatre and also pop over to their instagram for all their latest photos  https://www.instagram.com/towngatetheatre/ – you know we all love a photo! Panto tickets start from £13.50, Family ticket discounts are worked out automatically online. For groups of 10 or more or for School Reservations, please contact the Box Office on towngateboxoffice@basildon.gov.uk or call them on 01268 205 300. A ticket must be purchased for all children attending a performance of the pantomime, regardless of their age. It has always been the theatre policy that they do not recommend bringing children under 3 to our pantomimes.

Where is The Towngate Theatre?  The theatre is in Basildon, Essex, so about an hours drive for us. It’s on St Martins Square and the postcode is SS14 1DL. This worked well for us and we found it easily using Waze – which we had set to an 80s DJ voice – causing much amusement along the journey.

By public transport – The Basildon Bus Station is a seven minute walk away (according to Google Maps – three minutes though according to the theatre!). Basildon train station is just five minutes away. The journey from Fenchurch Street takes 36 minutes. Southend is just a 20 minute ride away.

Is there parking?  We parked in a multi-storey at the shopping mall which is only a two minute walk from the theatre – if that! Having now looked at the website properly (typical adhd brain) I see there are also allocated parking bays for people with disabilities in the parking area at the rear of the theatre, which is great. Next time …..

Is there food available? The theatre has a bar and cafe, and it’s spacious. You can find all the details here, including checking out their impressive menus Theatre Cafe. I’m sad to be honest that we didn’t get a chance to eat but dashing over after school meant we were pushed for time – but there is always next time!

Mummy I need a wee!  Happy to report that we didn’t have to queue and found the toilets to be spotless. There is also a wheelchair accessible toilet on the ground floor.

Accessibility  – The theatre is accessed from ground level with step free entry, with wide automatic doors. The main auditorium has two slip boxes on the stalls level. Wheelchair access to these boxes is via a wheelchair lift. Wheelchair spaces must be pre booked, and please do give the theatre notice if you need any wheelchair assistance. There is a wheelchair accessible toilet on the ground floor. The theatre staff were wonderful and so welcoming and helpful, we had a very positive experience.

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