THERE’S nothing like a good panto to get you in the Christmas spirit and this year’s offering Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre is a real cracker.

This lavish spectacle is packed with surprises, magic and fun that will delight young and old alike. The classic fairytale about the beautiful Snow White (sweetly played by Charlotte Haines) and her seven diminutive friends is given giant-sized portions of extra drama with a fire-breathing dragon, street dancing bodyguards and a cracking magic mirror.

Hotstepping his way from the Strictly ballroom to Southampton, Craig Revel Horwood plays the evil Queen Lucretia and he’s in fine voice with plenty of crowd-pleasing references to his day job.

The Chuckle Brothers (Barry and Paul) bring their infectious charm to a new generation of audiences, and it was delightful to see the children chuckling along with their parents who fondly remember their antics from their own childhoods providing one of the funniest moments in this show with their antics involving a cucumber – but it’s all good fun.

There’s innuendo but not smut and jokes that get the grown-ups sniggering into their ice creams (thankfully) sail over the kids’ heads and there’s plenty to distract them before they remember to ask awkward questions. Visually the show is stunning with beautiful costumes, clever special effects and lighting that gets the whole theatre fired up.

Britain’s Got Talent’s Flawless show their trademark timing and skill with their jaw-dropping routines and acrobatics.

At times the first half feels a little like a variety show as the star names show us their talents and there’s a little less audience participation than you might expect but eventually the show comes together and is greater than the sum of its parts. The all singing, all dancing dwarfs and ensemble help to achieve this with some beautifully choreographed group numbers and infectious songs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is glitzy, exciting and funny and will certainly wake you up after too much turkey and telly this Christmas.