The thing I love most about the Chipping Norton panto is how much The Theatre throws at it.

Whether it’s live TV news viewed on a giant television screen as the cast inches its way up a vast tower block aka King Kong, the James Bond baddie lair complete with a laser Goldfinger would be impressed by, or an exploding bed in the middle of the forest, director John Terry is up for it.

And as his Sleeping Beauty is set during both the Tudor era and The Swinging Sixties, the scope for fun was immense.

Hence the custard pie making machine, a feisty and Northern Princess Rose, played by Lucy Penrose, who looked as comfortable in her damask gown as she did in her psychedelic mini dress or Emma Peel style catsuit, and the falafel festival zone. Anything goes.

Yet, neither is any attention to detail spared, which is how we came to be humming the specially composed panto tunes days later, still marvelling at the majesty of Nanny Fanny’s cupcake dress, and remembering the inadvertent innuendoes long after the curtain came down.

Throw in a cast of seven, from the brilliant and hapless King played by Paul Tonkin who looked rather dashing in his 60s suit and polo neck, Dame Trott played by Eamonn Fleming, to the only remaining royal servant Willy played by the lovely Christian James, and the picture is nearly complete.

The young lovers Jagger Prince and Princess Rose, seemed happier with their modern attire and ‘free love’ in the second half, which certainly flowed more convincingly than the slightly clunky first.

The evil but incredibly seductive Erica Guyatt rather stole the show though as the deliciously evil and rather sexy Belladonna Bindweed.

Some excellent Pippins, bawdy jokes, innuendoes, songs, dancing and sweet throwing, and the panto reached epic levels. It just needed more fluency which I’m sure will grow over time.

The only fly in the ointment was the terrible service at the bar beforehand and during the interval which slightly took the edge off things. 4/5

* On until January 14. Book at