The actors are enthusiastic, the audience laughed happily and the two-piece combo in the pit was tuneful but the general impression was of a panto codged together with several mis-managed, not to mention hazardous moments along the way.
The comic sketches were interminable and deeply unfunny, played out by actors who were basically capable of much more given a better script. What was simply silly stayed that way and rarely elevated itself into true comic humour.
Occasionally audiences were terrorised with squirted water, as they always are in panto these days, a gag guaranteed to wake up those, who had momentarily dozed off.
Lincoln James as a cosy Fleshcreep scared no one, although his character did betray a critical sense. “Well, you need singing lessons!” he said to Princess Tamara (Miranda Floy) after an unmemorable aria and it was impossible to argue the point.
Ella Vale made a very good Fairy, well-spoken and practical - I warmed to her immediately.
The kitchen slapstick consists, invariably, of buckets of white goo here tipped over Simon (John Dorney) by Tim Freeman’s bustling Dame Trot in pink PVC, while the band chose play The Boy From Ipanema for reasons known only to themselves.
The true moment of magic came when the Giant walked in. In a few moments the world of fairytale came together and the audience gave the scene a deserved round of applause (although a thoughtful person might have asked where was the hen who laid the golden eggs).