Panto season is upon us – oh yes it is - and Salisbury has much to offer.

First stop, The Playhouse, which always puts on a great festive show and this year is no exception.

Wiltshire Creative’s production of Dick Whittington is bright, bold and full of the usual music, dancing, gags and good-old fashioned fun.

Dick (Will Carey) is a cheery lad born and bred in Salisburyshire. After his dreams of becoming mayor so he can fix the cracked pavements, fill the potholes and even get a few hanging baskets (good luck with that) fail, he heads to London - along with his cranky cat Cosmo (Lindo Shinda) - in search of fame and fortune. But it turns out the streets aren’t paved with gold, but overrun with rodents.

After falling into a job at her father’s café, Dick then falls in love with Alice (Olivia Hewitt-Jones), but this is panto and all doesn’t run smoothly in the course of love.

David Rumelle brings the slapstick humour as panto dame Sarah the Cook, who loves her Dick (steady) more than anything and follows him and Cosmo to the big city. It is here that Sarah finds her own love interest – not the random bloke sat at the end of the third aisle (although he will, of course, be the object of her affections and ridicule a fair proportion of the night), but Alice’s father Alderman Fitzwarren, played by Hugh Osborne.

The real star of the show, for me, is Will Jennings, who cleverly brings a loveable side to the villainous King Percy Rat. His quick moves, ghastly gags and tongue twitches had us rolling with laughter.

Meanwhile, Natalie Winsor brings all the pantomime positivity and magic as Fairy Bowbells.

It wouldn’t be panto without a smattering of smut and writing trio Plested, Brown & Wilsher clearly realised they had hit comedy gold with a hero called Dick. But despite the dick jokes and double entendres, this is in its essence a show for families and it was wonderful to see grandparents and tots giggling together at the slapstick humour, as well as singing and dancing along with the cast.

Directed by Gareth Machin, the production has the usual festive warmth and optimism, helping us to forget all the bad things that are happening in the world and have a good old belly laugh.

Even the mentions to the local sponsors ‘for all your insurance needs’, will have you chuckling.

A mention must also go to the swing stars Alisha Capon and Daniel Timoney along with the wonderful Young Company, who make the show as sparkling and spectacular as it is.

With outrageous outfits, a beautifully bold set and a talented band, prepare to be singing and dancing and, more than anything, laughing out loud at this bright and cheery production.