White Christmas

They say a good woman is above rubies, but I'm not sure that applies to pantomime dames. All the same, ´tis the season to be Dolly for Patric Kearns, back at the Pomegranate for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Strains of Hello, Dolly (what else?) greet every appearance of Dame D Jollybottom, the princess's nurse, and the noisy, enthusiastic (and for some reason light-sabre waving!) first-night audience loved her.

They also loved to hate Boarzo the baddie, played with glorious Dickensian malevolence by another Pomegranate favourite, George Telfer.

Huge fun

Bruce James Productions know how to put on a good panto, and this one is loud, gaudy and huge fun, just as a panto should be. Snow White (Tara Dixon) is sweet and upmarket; Queen Morgana (Anna Stolli) exudes evil; Prince Rupert (Gareth Chart) is suitably hunky; and Muddles (James Campbell) is hyperactive - in a good way, of course.

And don't forget the dwarfs, cute and colourful right down to their wellies.

There were lots of bogey and bottom jokes for the kids, and the odd one about Woolworths and Alistair Darling for the grown-ups. Not a lot for cynical teenagers - the two restless ones beside me walked out before the end - but panto isn't really for them.

It's for the likes of six-year-old Warren sitting on my other side. He loved the monster, the dancing teddy bears and the dwarfs , threatened the Wicked Queen with his Lord of the Rings sword and waved it in support of Rupert, and joined in the songsheet with a will.

It's at the Pomegranate till January 4 - but you'll struggle to get a ticket.