CHRISTMAS just wouldn’t be Christmas without a good old, family pantomime.

And Jack and the Beanstalk, which is running at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre until January 1, is exactly that.

A traditional fairytale; a rhyming fairy; some song and dance numbers; a Dame with an array of outrageous outfits; a few mishaps along the way and, of course, a happy ever after.

Jack and the Beanstalk tells the tale of the hapless Jack, who swaps the beloved family cow for some magic beans, before defeating the giant at the top of the beanstalk and winning the heart of the princess.

There is plenty of audience participation for the kids to enjoy, as well as lots of laughs for the grown-ups. In fact, the jokes come so thick and fast, you may end up missing a few.

No panto would be complete without an all-star cast, and this year’s included S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens (cue lots of references to her pop star days, an S Club medley, and appreciative applause from the Dads in the audience!); kids’ TV presenter Derek Moran and Coronation Street and Holby City actor Mark Moraghan.

But credit must also go to stand-up comedian Noel Brodie, for his brilliant comic timing, and Jess Pritchard, who showed brilliant vocal talents in her role as Princess Jill.

It must be hard to come up with new tricks when staging these traditional pantos year after year, and there’s no doubting the audience love the familiar jokes and routines.

But new ideas are also welcome and one of the highlights of the 2017 production is the clever 3D section, which had children and adults engaged in equal measure.

Jack and the Beanstalk is another triumph for UK Productions – pure feel-good family fun.