Des and David Head Anvil's All-Star Winter Line-Up

From Gazette (Basingstoke & North Hants)

IT'S that exciting time of year when Basingstoke's top entertainment venues reveal their plans for the forthcoming season.

The Anvil has released its autumn programme which takes arts lovers right through to panto time. Artists from the London Mozart Players to Aussie pop star Dannii Minogue have included Basingstoke in their autumn schedules.

Singer Frances Black kicks off the new season with a concert on Thursday September 17. The younger sister of famous Irish singer Mary Black, she last performed at The Anvil three years ago and has just released a new single and album.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra continue their special relationship with The Anvil by giving two concerts on Saturday September 19 and Friday October 9. Their programmes include pieces by Mozart, Prokofiev, Bruckner, Berlioz and Sibelius.

Tribute acts are next best to the real thing - and sometimes better! The hugely successful Bjorn Again do that Abba thing again on Wednesday September 23 and Dorsey brings Simply the Best of Tina Turner to town on Tuesday October 6 with hits including Private Dancer and What's Love Got To Do With It.

Lovers of Latin are in for a treat with Salsasonica - an eight-piece band creating and performing music that incorporates elements of jazz, soul and funk all bound together with the infectious salsa beat. The band play at a Salsa evening on Saturday October 3.

The men in black are back on Thursday October 22. The Stranglers return to The Anvil for a mix of hits old and new. Jazzing things up are the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

With standards such as Take Five to his credit, Brubeck has formed a jazz style all his own. He brings his latest quartet to Basingstoke on Sunday October 25. Jane McDonald cruises into the area on Wednesday November 18 for a concert to remember. The singer shot to fame on BBC series The Cruise and released an alburn last month. Other highlights include, of course, Dannii Minogue as well as Elkie Brooks, David Essex, Hank Marvin and many others.

Some of Britain's best loved entertainers and comedians will be bringing their talents to the venue. TV star Des O'Connor hosts an evening of comedy and music on Saturday October 17, stand-up comedian and Have I Got News For You star Paul Merton brings his brand of dry wit to the venue on Wednesday November 11 and Ken Dodd brings his Happiness Show on Friday December 4.

Don't forget the dance and head for a huge range of entertainment including the City of London Ballet on Friday and Saturday October 23 and 24, Juan Martin Flamenco Dance on Saturday November 7 and The Chippendales - yes, they are dancers - on Thursday November 19.

The season couldn't wind up without a fun-packed panto. Actress Gemma Craven, TV celbrity Keith Chegwin and children's TV presenter Brian Cant head the cast in Cinderella from Thursday December 17 until Sunday January 10.
Further details on these and all other shows are available from The Anvil box office.