WOW! This is a real Christmas gift of a production. Anyone expecting yet another festive pantomime had better think again. This is Peter Pan as it was originally conceived by JM Barrie back in 1904 but sprinkled with a fistful of 21st century theatrical fairy dust.

Peter Pan has of course never actually been a panto despite having been played as a close approximation of one for many years. The Lighthouse show, adapted from Barrie’s Edwardian text by director Jeff Clarke, reclaims it as a proper piece of theatre.

With fine acting, slick direction and an absolutely mesmerising set, the story of Mr and Mrs Darling and their children Wendy, John and Michael who fly off one night to join Peter Pan, the boy who can never grow-up, in far off Neverland has seldom been more gripping.

Their adventures with Peter, his gang of Lost Boys, the fairy Tinkerbell and Tiger Lily and her Indian tribe is counterbalanced by their battles with evil pirate Captain Hook and his scurvy crew.

Chris Ellison, best known as tough old school copper DCI Frank Burnside from TV’s The Bill makes an agreeably loathsome Hook but also doubles particularly well as urbane, decent and slightly clueless Mr Darling. Ally Cox is his desperate wife left pining for her lost children.

Peter Pan himself is superbly played by a the literally high-flying Jamie Quinn whose aerial antics are breathtaking. Naomi Morris as Wendy takes on the role of ‘mother’ to Peter and his boys and does a fine job trying to keep his feet on the ground.

Pan’s enemies include not only Hook himself but his idiot pirate henchmen Smee (Neil Smye); Starkey (Graeme Henderson); Cecco (Matt Cremin); and Jukes (Hugh MacDonald). Cue knockabout fun and some nifty choreography.

The mood is set by music and songs based on the works of Edwardian composer Albert Ketelbey.

There are excellent performances from all the principals and strong support too from an impressive team of young actors and dancers. The real superstar of the show though is the astonishing revolving set by Elroy Ashmore. Peter Pan runs at Lighthouse until Sunday, January 3.