The clever folk behind the Sheffield Lyceum panto have hit upon a winning formula.
This year’s offering, Mother Goose, has all the so-bad-they’re-good puns, little digs at neighbouring towns and sly nods in the direction of adult humour that punters have come to expect.
All new jokes, this year, apparently.
The modern culture references, slapstick moments and gratuitous 3D scenes are all there.
And this year has an added element - nostalgic sentiment.
Sheffield’s favourite Dame (Damian Williams) is stealing the limelight for the 10th year running at the Lyceum.
The good natured ribbing of fellow cast members and that one special gent who gets picked out of each audience is done with real wit.
Woe betide the audience who don’t play their part, too, for Williams’ caustic sarcasm won’t allow the atmosphere to dip below the desired levels.
And as its his 10th year, he’s allowed a little extra license to run riot. Give an inch, however and this Dame will take a mile.
Williams is joined this year by Cbeebies star Andy Day and Jake Canuso of Benidorm.
Day carries that kids tv presenter enthusiasm that sits perfectly in a panto and Canuso is more cheese than menace in the role of the bad guy.
His character is largely ridiculous but he’s clearly well aware and hams it up brilliantly.
Paul Hendy’s production does not disappoint, yet again, and he’s built quite the track record of making the Lyceum panto a must-see part of Sheffield’s festive traditions.