Aladdin is a good, old-fashioned tale of naughty wizards, love-lorn royals and lamps which when rubbed do amazing things.
There is excellent dancing and singing throughout where the actors give their all, and where Widow Twankey (Ian Good) is jolly and benign, rather like your cosy auntie who lives at the end of the street.
Thus you get an affectionate dame who does not rely (as so many do), upon toe-curling flatulence jokes for comic effect.
Then, of course, there’s Abanazar, the wicked wizard, upon whom the story of Aladdin rests.
This year Robert Powell draws the boos and hisses, fine actor that he is, with a great past in the British theatre, and who clearly relishes a bit of panto fun in the Christmas period.
Mr Powell has only to shoot an icy stare from beneath those dark brows for a chill to descend on the theatre – well, at least as far back as Row H – I know, I felt it!
Then Abanazar sets out his terrible plans to take over the world as soon as he get his hands on the magic lamp. At that terrifying moment, the theatre forgot to boo, silence reigned, and I swear I saw an icicle form on an overhead power cable.
But in this sweetly zippy panto with its second-rate sets and colourful costumes, the actors are consistently terrific.
Apart from Mr Good’s kindly Dame, ( he also directs) you have Chris Edgerley’s all-singing, all-dancing Aladdin, a performer with smile which lights up the theatre. Derek Conran is great as Wishee Washee, Conor Barrie as the well-muscled Genie of the Lamp and Princess Jasmine is played by the graceful Rebecca Marks.
Running time is 2hrs 10mins and the production is on until January 4.