WHILE panto is one of the great British staples of family entertainment, traditionally it’s as Christmassy as tinsel and mincemeat pies. However, for the second year running, The Alhambra Theatre, in Dunfermline, have presented an Easter panto, resurrecting all the old panto glitter and jokes at this very special family time and it works amazingly well, writes our theatre critic Kerry Black!

The minute we stepped into the theatre, we were wowed by the glittering “Beauty and The Beast” cloth. Indeed, the entire lavish was set was designed by Mark Walters and really added to the magical quality of the evening.

Starring the legendary Bobby Davro (who describes himself as the only 80s entertainer not to have been arrested!), as the brilliant Silly Billy, we were assured of a great night!

Davro started as an impressionist on TV’s “Copy Cats” and the best sequence of the entire panto came when he and arch-villain, Anton de Buerk (Andrew Fleming), rattled through impressions galore, giving us everyone from Michael McIntyre to Tom Jones, with a wee dash of Cilla too! Genius!

With Mark Jones in fine fettle as the amply bosomed Dame Brenda Brexit, there were plenty classic panto moments, including the ghostly bench scene!

TV favourite Dani Harmer (Tracy Beaker), who Alhambra audiences may remember from Rocky Horror, made Belle into a charming but gutsy heroine, while Ceris Hine played the ditsy Fairy Liquid. The Beast/Prince was the awesome Sebastian Hall, whose strong voice and physical presence made a refreshing change from some of the wimpy wee princes we have seen in previous pantos.

With great professional dancers, supported by local youngsters, the energetic choreography and fabulous costumes really added a touch of class to the show, particularly in the sparkling finale scene.

The panto had everything, cheesy singalong songs, Can Can dancers, even Davro as a pantomime donkey and just enough double entendres to satisfy the adults as well as the bairns, with plenty audience participation too. I especially enjoyed Davro’s daft “Jaffa Cake Song”!

The spectacular lighting transformed the entire Alhambra into a shimmering, starlit, fairytale palace of dreams. It was lovely to see children trying to catch the stars.

Do you know the best bit about an Easter panto? Being able to go out on a lovely, balmy, spring evening, without your wellies!