If festive fe-fi-fo fun for all the family is what you’re after, then get along to see Jack and the Beanstalk.
Once again the Wolverhampton Grand has delivered an absolute belter.
It was a tall order to live up to last year’s brilliant production of Aladdin, but with this pantomime they have maintained their sky high standards (having a giant and a beanstalk obviously helps!).
The Grand’s panto is such a fixture on the Christmas and New Year calendar that the cold snap is not going to stop the audience braving the frost to get there.
Oh snow it isn’t!
Gareth Gates takes the lead role as Jack Trot and the powerful vocals of the Pop Idol runner up and Sarah Vaughan, who plays his sweetheart Jill, light up the love story in this classic tale of a lad who flogs a cow for some magic beans.
Former Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley is a force of nature as fairy godmother Mother Nature, combining fun and feistiness, including the wonderful line ‘Don’t mingle with a Dingle’.
Adam C Booth was simply born to be a panto star, picking up where he left off as Wishy Washy last time out to shine as Simple Simon this year.
Full of beans, he is at the centre of most of the slapstick moments - from his word-perfect delivery of a rhyming tongue twister to somehow remembering a shopping list skit that had us all roaring at its rudeness.
My highlight is when the bundle of energy cheekily interrupts a romantic duet between Jack and Jill - he fancies her himself - and all sorts of Humpty Dumpty-esque hilarity ensues.
Then there is Ian Adams who puts the edam in Dame Trot with a series of cheesey one liners.
Like Riley and Booth, Adams also starred in Aladdin a year ago, and he is back to his best in the Black Country for this current run.
His movements and mannerisms are complemented by a wardrobe of outrageous outfits that would make Joan Collins jealous - if the Dynasty star had a penchant for dressing up like Bagpuss or a bedspread that is!
Also on the Bill is Graham Cole, best known for playing PC Tony Stamp in the ITV police drama, who makes the transition from good cop to baddie in the role of Fleshcreep, with a manic, menacing grin permanently fixed to his face.
As is tradition with panto there are plenty of local references - Dudley Zoo, Bilston and Molineux are among the places name-checked - and quite wonderfully cranking up the yam-yam humour is Doreen Tipton, who plays Jill’s mom.
The Black Country’s favourite do-nothing dole dosser is an absolute delight, with a selection of facial expressions and gags that hit the spot like a bag of scratchings washed down with a Banks’s Mild chaser.
The scene where the self-titled Lazy Cow meets Daisy Cow, the Trot family’s prized animal, is udder class and it is not just Doreen, but the entire audience who get the benefits.
As myself, my wife and our two kids were clapping, cheering, booing and singing along throughout the show we noticed Wolves legend Steve Bull doing likewise a couple of seats along.
And even that giant of Wolverhampton looked impressed when the Giant of Little Yamptown, the village in which the panto is set, finally put in an appearance.
Blunderbore was a triumph of design and engineering by the props experts and had a ‘yed’ so big it would have made Piers Morgan’s noggin seem small.
Not that we should have expected anything different.
The attention to detail is remarkable, whether it be the huge-headed animatronic giant to the little tap-dancing sheep.
From the stellar cast to the stunning costumes, the sharp script to the cracking choreography and the mesmerising sets to the musical score, this classic panto will leave you with a beaming smile and a warm glow.
Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Wolverhampton Grand until Sunday, January 14.