MERSEYSIDE is famous for its varied seasonal shows - we top the premiership table for festive fun.

The Royal Court rightly has its place up there.

No sooner had their 2017 production of The Scouse Nativity ended when the box office was inundated for tickets for the 2018 show.

The Scouse Cinderella this year is self-explanatory. Know worra-mean, like.

Or is it, boys and girls?

It's certainly a departure from the previous Christmas offerings where there has been a more structured format and with a stronger narrative.

But the Court's loyal fans - what you might call season tickets holders - love everything the 'People's Theatre' throws at them.

The Scouse Cinderella is more inter-active.

They not only break the fourth wall they smash it with a huge metaphorical nutcracker.

In fact, it is a panto. Full stop.

Writer, producer and director Kevin Fearon (with additional material from the eight-strong cast) has taken the fairy tale and stamped ‘Property of Liverpool’ all over it with the action taking place in the Town Hall and St George’s Hall created by designer Richard Foxton.

His revolving stage includes a lovely woodlands scene and a two-tier interior where some barmy bake-offing goes on.

A highlight is a projection car scene through the streets of Scouse land.

There is a skint, politically incorrect silly mayor called Joe Hardupson - courtesy of Everyman star Keddy Sutton in unflattering prosthetics.

His daughter Cinders is played by the superbly confident Hayley Sheen who is one of the city's finest home-grown talents

And Michael Fletcher's likeable street-wise but love-lorn Buttons is a splendid on stage anchor man who urges the audience to take part in the song-sheet with Santa Claus is Coming to Town

See, I told you it's a panto.

Andrew Schofield (Choo) and Paul Duckworth (Brook) are two very ugly sisters who provide their drunken version of the 12 Days (or should that be 'daze') of Christmas.

This deffo deserves the advertised 'adults only' tag alone.

Lindzi Germain doubles up as the fairy godmother and Lillian Redrowding. Dressed like a huge purple Quality Street sweet on legs she belts out Diamonds are Forever out 'diva-ring' Shirley Bassey.

Stephen Fletcher is smooth talking Peter Prince dipping into the Adam Ant wardrobe yet singing The Human League's Don’t You Want Me Baby?

There's other fab songs from musical director Howard Gray and his three-piece live band notably Bonnie Rait's I Can’t Make You Love Me sung wonderfully by Buttons and Cinders on Lionel Ritchie's Hello.

There’s biting topical gags and mini- tributes to the stage shows The Play That Goes Horribly Wrong and Noises Off.

So for this year’s tinsel-coated theatre feast the Court's very own anarchic Crazy Gang simply want you to join them in pulling a wacky cracker and have a ball ... or two.

Globe verdict:

Pure Panto-monium!

Four stars

The show is on until January 19.

Tickets from the box office on 0151 709 4321