IT’S a tradition in our household –oh yes it is! The annual Courtyard pantomime.

As a family we’ve been singing, shouting and laughing along there for the last four years, including to this latest production, Jack and the Beanstalk.

What’s won our hearts over those years is the sheer five-star entertainment value of Courtyard productions –all singing, all dancing, spell-binding spectaculars which never fail to keep our children enraptured for the duration of the show. No small feat.

And they’ve done it again this year - another Christmas cracker of a show with all those winning ingredients.

It’s director Estelle van Warmelo’s sixth Courtyard production, and as usual there’s bags of audience participation, as well as a generous helping of those all-important double entendres to get us parents cackling – hats off to script writer Lyndsay Maples.

The tempo is high, from the very start, with impressive dance routines and nifty takes on favourite hits – including a unique version of Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen, inspired by the effect beans have on one’s constitution. And look out for a starring role for the Hereford bull in High Town, ridden by...ahem...Wonder Woman. You need to see it in context.

Hereford Times:

On that note, Jason Marc-Williams, above, is a comic delight, making his debut as Dame Marjie Poops, shimmering in a variety of outlandish costumes, while villain Clarkson(Craig Painting) - no not the one from Top Gear, also a pantomime villain(I see what they did there), is a dastardly, hand-clasping triumph.

Jack and Jill (Dario Cacioppo and Catriona Mackenzie) shone as the energetic young heroes - but it’s really hard and unfair to single some and not all out in what was a fantastic team effort.

Choreographer Phillip Aiden and musical director Henry Burnett deserve a mention for their fine efforts, while the set and costume design by Mark Walters added to the glitzy magic. The beanstalk was a real eye-opener, and I won’t spoil the surprise, but suffice to say, the giant is a lot more than a booming voice.

I can’t sign off without giving pantomime cow, the delightful Delilah a mention, who showed herself to be quite a mover in the dance stakes.

This is a wonderful show, which delighted us once again, providing this family with yet more solid gold panto memories, as well as kicking off the festive season in style, as I’m sure it will for your family too.

Well done Courtyard.

By Andrew Doyle