For many people, the festive season would not be complete without a trip to the panto!
At theatres across the South, rehearsals have been underway for months ahead of the curtain being raised. Many have now opened to audiences.
Mary Stanley went to the Kings Theatre in Southsea ahead of its opening night of Aladdin. Watch her report below:
It's the final days of rehearsals and the actors and crew have moved from a church hall to the stage.
Soon, it will be curtain up.
This is the 22nd panto for local man and Dame Jack Edwards. It'll take him an hour each night to get ready and he'll have 10 costume changes during the show.
Jack Edwards- 'Widow Twankey'
Panto is an important time for the Kings theatre in Southsea which has ambitious plans to expand next year.
It's the age old story of genies, magic lamps, evil sorcerer, heros and princesses.
Stars this year include Boyzone's Shane Lynch and singer songwriter Ben Ofoedu.
Ben Ofoedu- 'Genie' and Shane Lynch: 'Abanazar'
It's a project involving lots of glitter and glue for props man Sam. His room is a mass of unusual items - the flying carpet and full set - though being kept behind wraps until the opening night.
Audience participation has always been a big part of panto. These days technology plays its part with 3D glasses being used in this production.
However, some things never change - the corny jokes, the classic lines and the happy ending.