Those in need of a cheer-up in these days of floods, frosts and fiscal failures should hurry along to the Grand Wolverhampton for a brightly-staged panto, which is frivolous, funny and garaunteed to chase away the blues.
The organisers of these de-luxe networked pantos usually provide their clients with a good dance team, lavish costumes and seasoned principals - this year is no exception.
We get off with to a bang with the arrival of Sherrie Hewson, who struts her stuff in a purple and silver glitzy outfit embellished with cock feathers which sprout from her shoulders like embryonic wings. It’s the sort of confection which once floated Danny La Rue’s panto boat.
You might think the clever Ms Hewson was heading for a high-voltage midnight cabaret, but you’d be wrong, she is, in fact masquerading as Lady Temple-Savage, the snobbish, acid-tongued, amanuensis of the naughty Giant Blunderbore (a huge perambulating puppet badly in need of a sartorial make-over). Why she left the high life for the vaguely shabby castle is a panto mystery.
Elsewhere, Day-Zee the panto cow, produces milk to order in 1940s bottles, and Keith Harris and Orville appear, again and again and again. To be fair the audience couldn’t get enough of them.
Ben James-Ellis is the canny Jack Trot who realises quickly that the beanstalk is inflatable plastic and sensibly makes no attempt to climb it.