ON VALENTINE’S Day, Aladdin’s simple tale – the young hero who falls in love with his princess – somehow seemed appropriate.

After a slightly hesitant start, this developed into a really good traditional pantomime, packed with corny jokes, slapstick comedy, visual humour, varied musical numbers (it’s not often that G&S is found in panto!) and entertaining choreography.

It’s hard to pick out individuals in such a strong ensemble production, but lovely characters emerged, including magnificently evil Abanazar, cheekily charming Aladdin, endearing Widow Twankey, a genial Genie and a great comic duo in Henchmen Hi and Lo.

First-rate direction ensured that the entire company performed strongly. The musical directors made fine debuts: the singing was good (if not great) with very clear diction, reasonably in tune and good harmonies.

Wonderfully designed and painted scenery, and terrific lighting, sound and special effects combined to produce a magical journey.