A pinch of fairy sparkle and a barrage of baddie boos mixed with a witty script and fantastic performances - Larbert Opera has definitely found the perfect recipe for a spellbinding panto!
The society’s annual foray into pantoland takes us to the village of GooseDown, where Mother Goose is living quite happily with her daughter Jill, soon to be son-in-law Jack and her goose Priscilla.
However, when the Demon King disguises himself as the new town squire, all kind of mayhem ensues as he tries to prove that evil will always triumph over good.
My seven-year-old niece Chloe was my companion for the evening and she was enthralled from the moment the good fairy sparkled her way onto the stage.
Having two One Direction songs in the production was a genius idea by the production team, and it delighted the younger members of the audience, including Chloe.
There’s plenty for the grown ups too, with lots of hilarious double entendres which sail over the heads of the youngsters.
The Fairy (Dale Henry) draws the audience right in from the start, and The Demon King (John Coe) drew boos from the beginning - an excellent sign for a panto baddie. His I Don’t Care solo in the second half is excellent, and I loved his transformation at the end.
Jack and Jill (Claire Wilson and Michelle Weston) make a lovely couple. Jill’s Halo solo is superb, and I loved Jack’s traditional panto thigh slapping!
The happless duo of Nifty and Shifty (Asheligh McGeorge and Lucy Andrew) were a hilarious addition to the production, and Chloe was delighted to see her dancing teacher Miss Ashleigh on stage!
Silly Billy played by Stewart Borthwick was fantastic, and the chemistry between him and Mother Goose was superb.
Mother Goose herself (himself?!) was the star of the show. Derek D. Easton is the perfect pantomime dame, and he brought life and vibrancy to the role. There was a hilarious first night mishap involving his wig during the Fountain of Youth scene and a lovely bit of improvisation between Mother Goose and Silly Billy really added to the show!
The principal cast are supported well by the lively and bright chorus, who bring a new energy and enthusiasm to the production every time they take to the stage.
The costumes throughout were fantastic, in particular the Demon King’s red suit and the blue dresses of Virtue and Vanity.
The outstanding outfits of the evening belonged to Mother Goose, who had a new frock, wings and shoes for each scene.
Mother Goose is on at the Dobbie Hall in Larbert until Saturday at 7.30 p.m. each day, with a matinee at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday. For tickets, call the Steeple Box Office on (01324) 506850.