Many people feel that Christmas has been cancelled this year but at Lighthouse in Poole the sleigh bells are still ringing.

Happy Ever After is an extraordinary community Christmas show that is keeping the festive spirit alive. It has song, dance and a story that revisits the heroes and heroines of pantomimes.

It’s a romp-along family production that aims to discover what happened next in Pantoland. Did Cinderella marry her Prince? What became of Jack after defeating the giant? How’s Dick Whittington’s cat? And where is Aladdin’s Genie?

These questions and many more are explored in this entertaining feelgood production created, written and directed by CBeebies favourite Chris Jarvis who also stars as Buttons. His 25 plus years experience in pantomimes and children’s TV really shows as he deftly heads a hugely talented cast of seasoned professionals and rising stars.

Chris, who co produced the show with lighting wizard James Smith and the Lighthouse management team, really knows how to entertain a young audience and with fellow children’s TV presenters Naomi Wilkinson and Ed Petrie on board Happy Ever After really hits the festive spot.

The cast also includes Harry Winchester, Lauren Azania, Jessica Rampling and Aaron Hunt. A couple of those faces might seem particularly familiar to local audiences. Jessica last appeared with Chris in the 2018 Poole panto Dick Whittington and Ed actually made his pantomime debut at Lighthouse in 2011 playing Buttons in Cinderella. He returned in 2014 as the dashing hero of Robin Hood. Happy Ever After capitalises on all their talents.

The emphasis is on pure entertainment and fun with carefully curated recorded music, lavish costumes, young dancers from the Stepping Out Academy of Performance, choreography by Katherine Iles and enough pee, poo and fart humour to keep children of all ages happy. Importantly the show manages to be Covid safe too, with a socially distanced audience and just one hour’s running time.

Impressively the ticket prices reflect this and they even lob in a free ice-cream with every ticket.It’s also worth noting that the air-conditioning in the Lighthouse Theatre is state of the art with fresh air pumped in at a rate of eight litres per second.

Happy Ever After runs until Sunday 3 January.