It’s quite something to get the perfect panto recipe of magic, song and dance, comedy, cheekiness and of course that all-important audience participation, but that’s what The Courtyard seems to pull off every year, and this 15th anniversary production of Cinderella, directed by Estelle Van Warmelow, and written by Lyndsey Maples is no exception.

The fever-pitch excitement of my two during the drive down was matched by their total immersion in a show that blends the best out of some of the previous years and takes it up a notch again, from beautiful costumes and scenery, and slick song and dance routines, to laughs galore both for little ones and post-watershed viewers alike. You’ve got have a healthy dollop of Carry On humour in the mix and this team never disappoints.

As always, Tim McArthur, dame for the last three years and this year an ugly sister, is a joy to watch. He was joined brilliantly by Ellis Kerkhoven as the saucy sibling. The pair’s comedic timing was par excellence throughout, and amidst the wise cracks and visual gags they led some cracking routines, including a re-working of the Pussy Cat Dolls’ Don’t Cha, Kylie Minogue's Can‘t Get You Out of My Mind, and the Poynter Sisters’ I’m So Excited - the latter providing the soundtrack to a new feature, a clever, mid-show big-screen video of the sisters shopping in High Town for the big ball.

It’s not fair just to single out that stunning pair however, difficult though it is to wrench your eyes off them.

Oliver Seymour-Marsh and Zarah Wyn were a delightful Prince Charming and Cinderella, and Dario Cacioppo won the hearts of the little ones as a frenetic Buttons, while Madeliene MacMahon shone as a quirky Fairy Godmother. Indeed he whole cast, including the juvenile chorus of local youngsters were terrific.

The beauty of The Courtyard pantos is that pop standards are seamlessly worked into the show’s soundtrack, offering the right balance of heart-warming ballads and foot-stamping sing-a-long moments, so hats off to musical director Rab Handleigh, and Choreographer Phillip Aiden for the that.

And a final shout out for Mark Walters for fabulous costume and set design, encapsulated in a properly magical Cinderella transformation.

So if you’re planning to take in a panto this Christmas, look no further than The Courtyard - it’s a cracker, again.