If you only see one Pantomime this season make your way to Theatre Royal Stratford East. It is so refreshing to see one of the little performed pantomime tales come to life with such enthusiasm, originality and real heart. This is a show that leaves young and old with something to reflect on and enjoy the memory each time they recall it.

It is such a treat to have original songs and lyrics and a script that says so much. Not only about the current climate and the way we are all feeling, but bursting with a genuine sense of hope and joy that pantomime is back. Carl Miller's script is full of innuendo but also beautifully crafted to each of the characters, each one can reaching their comedic potential. Robert Hymans songs were very catchy, and though not entirely memorable, had the audience joining in when asked without having to rely on the usual popular and well trodden hits.

The staging and costumes from Jean Chan captured the imagination from the onset, with motorised bunnies scampering around the stage before the show even commenced. Stratford on the Down is brought to life in delightful mix of structures and clothes with more than the odd pun to keep the adults in the audience amused. Rick Fishers lighting was perfection. Each mood and magical moment delivered with such clarity.

Rarely do you see a pantomime where each and every one of the seven performances are so strong. There is an energy and commitment which has to be applauded, each one vocally great and totally relishing their characters. It would have been nice to have a bit more of Phil Nichol's wonderful Granny, but without a classical dame role it would have been wrong to bring that character on too soon within the story.

Robert Shaw Cameron, as director, has cleverly created a bundle of absolute treats culminating in a scene with so much toilet humour the audience are in stitches , then next scene it switches to a really heartfelt moral message that bring a lump to the throat.

If you want a Hood to protect you from the winter and covid blues, this is sure to raise your spirits.