IF YOU want a sure fire way to get into the Christmas spirit, a pantomime is the thing to go to.

You could enter the theatre in a really bad mood after having an awful day and you will definitely leave with a huge smile on your face.

Watching a group of primary school children having the time of their lives cheering on Basil Brush reminded me of the excitement I used to have going on the annual school theatre trip to see that year’s panto and it was almost as exciting watching as an adult.

When I moved to the area I was told how great the Theatre Royal pantomime is and it did not disappoint.

I was told by the cast that it feels like a family because so many of the actors return year after year and I completely understood that description even from the audience.

Kevin Cruise walks on stage to the biggest cheer and it is clear that he is very popular. He has built up a big fan base at the theatre, people in Windsor are excited to see him return for a sixth year and I can see why. He is the perfect panto actor and he is a loveable best friend, just as the character of Buttons should be and he gets everyone screaming to protect his onstage jar of sweets.

Kevin is joined by fellow Theatre Royal regular Basil Brush and the pair keep the audience laughing every time they are on stage. Panto is all about audience participation and the cheeky fox makes this easy with endless Boom Booms.

Among the endless laughs there is some really amazing talent. Alex Beaumont really stood out for me and Windsor is lucky to be able to call him its own. I left not only with an aching face from smiling so much but also the thought that I need to watch out for his next show so I can go along.

For the adults, the ugly sisters are the stars of the show. Their jokes have the adults and children laughing and the children don’t necessarily even understand what they are laughing at. Returning dame Steven Blakeley and his new partner in crime Shaun Prendergast are a great comedic team and had me laughing every time they are on stage. Their rendition of the 12 days of Christmas had everyone around me in stitches and the boy sat next to me literally fell off his chair.

No matter how old you are, I would be surprised if you didn’t enjoy Cinderella in Windsor this year. Even if you start the show feeling shy, by the end you will be stood up clapping, dancing, singing and shouting.

The show runs until Sunday, January 10.

For more information go to www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk.