Theatre Royal panto has got all the ingredients to be a big hit

Cries of “Don’t eat the apple” from young voices mean that the panto is well and truly under way at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.

If the recipe for success is colour, spectacle and a balanced cast with enough star names to attract, then Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs passes the test.

Lesley Joseph hams it up in glorious style as the wicked Queen Lucretia, evoking the hisses, boos and general cat calling in true panto fashion.

The kids just loved Muddles (Ben Nickless, Smee in last year’s Peter Pan) in a side-splitting show in which he strikes up an excellent rapport with young and old.

Emilie Du Leslay’s lovely voice gets full rein as Snow White. Her small army of dwarfs marches around the stage on its knees, with a motley collection of forest animals in tow.

Sam Attwater is the prince of her dreams but if a star of the show has to be nominated then it’s Andrew Ryan, no stranger to Nottingham stages, who is quite superb in some hilarious moments with Nickless. Ryan is now a veteran panto dame but he also excelled in the August thriller season at the Theatre Royal, when he played a number of varied roles.

Add some amazing special effects – the flying dragon being the highlight – gags both topical and local and you have the perfect start to the festive season.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham until Sunday January 11.