Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Manchester Opera House)
Packed with talent in all shapes and sizes, and the gags keep coming.
Eric Potts and Tam Ryan are the saviours of the panto scene and both of them do Manchester proud, yet again this year. Potts writes the most timely lines and inserts them seamlessly into this tale of Snow White (Natalie Andreou) and a plot by the Wicked Queen (Priscilla Presley) to kill her.
As for Ryan, he acts as narrator and is the glue to the piece really, as his Muddles is a link between the audience and the show itself. He is consistently good, year after year and he is on particularly good form - especially when he has to interact with the audience, which he clearly relishes.
His annual song sheet section is as excellent as ever, although Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" would give the kids some moves to copy. As it is "One Pound Fish" is lifted by this show man but not the best song choice.
Warwick Davis directs the piece with so much variety, that the tone of the piece is sometimes a bit muddled. More from Tam would make it more seamless. Davis is a generous director though, as he does make sure that each performer has a chance to grab some limelight.
Priscilla Presley clearly enjoys hamming it up, possibly recalling her days in the hilarious Naked Gun films. And there is something genuinely funny about hearing her talk about the East Lancs Road, as a punchline. When called upon to sing, she chooses to mime. She should have gone the Rex Harrison route though, as this does look clumsy.
She revels though in playing the baddie and encourages the audience to shout back. Philip Olivier sends up his Liverpool roots and is very game as the Prince, Daniel Stockton is a hoot as the Henchman and Natalie Andreou is in great voice as Snow White.
Warwick Davis leads the Seven Dwarfs as Prof and at one point morphs into Freddie Mercury in a zany, warped and funny moment. There are also references to Britain's Got Talent, TOWIE, Didsbury, and Dallas.
Apart from a few flat moments, where we switch from something sublime, silly but very funny to something particularly earnest, this is another winning panto for the Opera House.
Snow White is packed with stars, musical theatre talent, funny jokes, and adults are catered for as much as the kids. On the whole, it's another Christmas cracker.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at Manchester's Opera House until 4 January.