IT'S panto season - oh yes it is - and in Bournemouth this year that means it's time to be transported off to Neverland with Peter Pan. The tale of the boy who didn't want to grow up felt particularly apt as every adult in the audience relived their childhood and booed, hissed and heckled the stars on stage.

As with all good pantos there's a splendid villain in Captain Hook, plenty of slapstick and token local references. The Imax might have been demolished but it's still guaranteed a mention in Bournemouth's panto script, along with the failed surf reef and Castlepoint's car park of doom.

There were also some great high-energy song and dance numbers - we particularly enjoyed a rousing rendition of 'Everything is Awesome' from the Lego movie - and some wonderfully funny acrobatics from the talented pirate crew.

Children's television favourite Barney Harwood, who has oodles of boyish charm, was really comfortable in the title role and made the flying scenes look effortless.

Waterloo Road and Strictly Come Dancing star Mark Benton hit the right note as Captain Hook; menacing in an over-the-top, camp manner, rather than scaring the children.

But the star of the show is definitely Noel Brodie as Captain Smee, who gets all the best lines and just pulls the whole show together. Despite being almost constantly present on stage for nearly two-and-a-half hours, his energy levels never seemed to flag and he had both the children and adults laughing from start to finish.

This is a great show to kickstart the festive season, it could even coax a smile from Scrooge. Christmas isn't Christmas without panto and this is no turkey, it's a cracker.