The panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is yet another Christmas cracker from the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. Each time it’s hard to imagine they’ll reach the heights of the previous year, but somehow they pull it off.

This time Ashley Banjo, as the handsome prince, tops the bill, with Diversity in perfect time as the palace guard. It may be 14 years since they won Britain’s Got Talent but they’ve lost nothing of their pizzazz and their thrillingly acrobatic and imaginative sequences slotted into the storyline.

There was undisputed panto royalty in Christopher Biggins, making the campest entrance in history as the Man in the Mirror, hoisted across the stage in glittering style, inviting the audience to join him in his self-deprecating humour.

The narrative strayed some miles from the original fairytale to accommodate the star-studded cast, not least Kev Orkian as Muddles the jester. He held court throughout with an energetic performance packed with quickfire gags and superbly timed physical comedy.

Snow White (Kirsty Ingram) did make it to the little cottage in the forest where she met the Magnificent Seven and enjoyed a delightful duet with lead dwarf Jamie John after fleeing the clutches of Queen Dragonella (Rachel Stanley). 

But before the happy ending there was a twist, and magic including a smoke-breathing dragon and flying reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh through a snowy sky. Add to that singing bunnies and a beautifully costumed ensemble of stunning dancers and you have the perfect family package.

Angie Owens