PANTO fans are in for a treat this year with the Theatre Royal Bath’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A fabulous family show that’s jam packed with traditional musical theatre, topical jokes and a large helping of fairy tale magic.

In traditional style, a beautiful princess is born, orphaned, abused by her wicked stepmother, falls in love, is poisoned and resurrected from the dead by a kiss. Along the way, Harriet Thorpe plays an ab fab, larger than life wicked queen, belting out songs in the style of Dame Shirley Bassey, while lending an ear to her other-worldly mirror.

Her costume is a sumptuous deep plum, jewelled with thousands of sequins, puff sleeves and a full skirt (and perhaps lights?) the costume is visually dazzling.

In absolute contrast, Devon-Elise Johnson who plays the pretty, young Snow White with absolute innocence and trust has a simple costume and long flowing hair. As for Prince Fredrick, he wore tights tight enough to make women of a certain age cackle with thoughts not becoming of a fairy tale! Both Snow White, Frederick and a supporting act of comedy dwarfs were superb.

However, stealing the show are Dame Dolly played by Nick Wilton and her son Muddles played by Jon Monie. They've got these panto stereotypes absolutely right: when Dame Dolly first addressed the audience, clad in a voluminous floral yellow dress, comical wig and clown-like make-up, my seven-year-old daughter leant over to me and whispered: “I think that lady is a man”!

Muddles does an absolutely sterling job of muddling his words with an exhausting marathon of spoonerisms that kept the audience laughing, with bawdy comedy for the adults and a bit of “it’s behind you” fun for the children. The script and jokes are excellent with a real mix of risque humour, topical news and even the cost of a pint in the Garrick’s Head pub next door. It had me and my family laughing literally for hours.

A special mention must be given to the hilarious alternative singling of the twelve days of Christmas, featuring Dame Dolly, Muddles, a dwarf… and a bra made for three! The bra was thrown into the audience continually, with fantastic audience participation. Dame Dolly’s syringes of medicine also ensured the audience in the stalls got a bit of a soaking, while Haribo was hitting parents and children left right and centre. This is truly a fun extravaganza that will have you shouting, singing and laughing all evening. I can’t recommend it highly enough.