Children across the west country are flocking to the theatre this Christmas as curtains are raised what must be the ultimate family show - the pantomime. In Bath there's a bigger cast than usual as the Theatre Royal is staging Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for only the second time in its long history.
Pantomime often gives stars of the stage and screen an opportunity to let their hair down. Nichola McAuliffe, who came to fame in the TV series Surgical Spirit, was in the city earlier this year, starring in an Alan Bennett play. This time she's wielding the magic mirror as Snow White's arch-enemy, the Evil Queen.
It is based on the traditional fairy story by the Brothers Grimm but with a lot more laughs.
The show features two of the men and women featured in the popular television documentary "Seven Dwarves". Jamie John plays Smiler and Laura Whitfield is Soppy.
Laura Clements, who has the starring role, took the female lead at the Theatre Royal last year, playing Alice in Dick Whittington.
Jon Monie, who takes the comic role of Muddles, the court jester, may be familiar with ITV West viewers. He worked at the Bristol studios for a number of years and, although he could be serious in current affairs programmes he won viewers' hearts with his contribution to light entertainment. He's been winning panto audiences' hearts in Bath for some time now.
– Jon Monie, 'Muddles'
I'm delighted to be back at the Theatre Royal Bath, once again playing the fool. A role I perfected during my presenting days at ITV West!
Panto stalwart Chris Harris not only plays the key role of the dame but also directs the show. He's been starring in panto at venues across the south west for more than 30 years.
Grimm's Fairytales, of which Snow White is one, have just celebrated their 200th anniversary and it seems they'll continue to entertain for many years to come. This particular version runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Sunday 13th January.