REVIEW: Brexit, Trump, Fortnite, Barry from Eastenders - nothing is safe from the Sheffield Lyceum panto

The cast of Peter Pan
The cast of Peter Pan

Brexit, Trump, Fortnite, Eastenders - nothing is safe from the Sheffield Lyceum panto.

Peter Pan, the 2018/19 offering from Paul Hendy, is terrific.

As ever, it crosses into farce, thanks largely to dame-extraordinaire Damian Williams (Mrs Smee), but remains witty and easy to follow for youngsters throughout.

Popular culture references, fairly harmless political jokes and plenty of slapstick help the cast romp through the evening. The time flies and the story zips along.

Shaun Williamson (Captain Hook), of Eastenders and more recently Extras fame, takes some light-hearted career joshing well and visibly enjoys himself, particularly when technical issues leave him without a mic and at the mercy of Williams' ad-libbing.

Wendi Peters is brassy as you like in her Squatting Cow, leader of the Indians, guise.

CBeebies presenter Gemma Hunt (Tiger Lily) can ham it up with the best of them and David Ribi (Peter Pan) stays closer to cheeky-chappy than cheesy hero.

Jo Osmond gives Tinkerbell some serious attitude and Emily Watkins (Ethel the over-acting pirate) threatens to steal scenes from even the legendary Williams.

Samantha Dorrance (Wendy Darling) showcases a terrific voice and Sheffield's own Emily McAvoy channels Kevin and Perry, as 'Dave the pirate who can't be bothered'.

The set seems to get more impressive every year, with a fancy screen adding some nice effects, and there are, of course, some truly horrific (brilliant) fruit and vegetable puns.

This year they've gone all out, with acrobatics, fire eating and high wire antics.

Peter Pan will be hard to top, but they always seem to manage it.

Don't bet against Cinderella being even better still next year.