Across the region theatres have been filling with the sound of laughter as it is, of course, Panto season. And the Christmas favourite has never been as important to those venues as it is today. With arts budgets under constant attack the panto is helping to pay for other shows that aren't as profitable.
In the rehearsal room in Barnstaple they're running through the gags, punchy script and the song and dance numbers for this year's North Devon pantomine Sleeping Beauty. It comes at a time when people have had less money to spend going out.
For Plymouth's all star cast you can expect to pay double the ticket price of a more provinicial venue but the value of panto to the Theatre Royal or to somewhere like the Weymouth Pavilion where a not for profit community company has taken over, remains the same, it's vitally important.
Between 18,000 and 20,000 people will watch Sleeping Beauty in Barnstaple over the next few weeks. Former Coronation Street actress Susan Penhaligon is Fairy iPod and for her and her fellow cast members panto is as much about bringing in the next generation of theatre goer.
You can watch our Business Correspondent, Seth Conway's report below: