EVERY January I wonder if the Chrysanth's panto is the last of the year or the first of the next?

One thing is always certain the company - formed in 1918 - really are a credit to Wirral.

This year Dick Whittington and his cat entertained sell-out audiences from January 10-12.

It was another triumph – a packed production produced and directed by Julie Delaney and Graham Leigh.

Mr Leigh is also the scriptwriter who consistently comes up with plenty of local references and topical references.

The choreography from Rebecca Gardner and assistant Hannah Laidlaw deserve special praise for some inventive routines, notably a charming and timely Mary Poppins-styled sequence.

Quality of costumes are another admirable achievement. The team of Thelma Warrington, Ann Williams, Jenny Plant and Sarah Jackson pay such attention to detail for each and every player in the children's department.

And Sheila Weaver created some eye-catching outfits for the Principals and the Dame.

It was good to see some old faces on stage and in the audience too.

There is a real sense of 'family.'

The standard that the Chrysanths have set themselves ensures their individual and collective dedication results in a vale-for-money show for all ages.

It was a joy to watch, over a lengthy two-hour and forty minutes.

The musical team of Norman Scott (who has been a stalwart for more than 50 years) and drummer Jonathan Rowlands took us on a journey from London to Madagascar with some smashing scenic backdrops to add to the fun..

There were some toe-tapping adaptations of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now and the current panto fave Baby Shark.

The ten-strong ensemble worked well together.

Charlie Delaney's Dick Whittington and 13- year-old Gabriel Kirby proved a purr-fect partnership, while Terry Davies as Sarah Suet enjoyed a fine repartee with the audience.

Emily Beresford relished her King Rat role and the comic capers of Jed Flowerday and Graham Leigh as Snatchet and Grabit reminded me of Cannon and Ball.

There were pyrotechnics and some inventive use of props during a Mission Impossible parody.

Indeed, the ten-strong cast deserves to take a bow as do each the five dance troupes: Two bunches of Petals; Posies; Blossoms and Blooms.

Happily, many local charities benefit from this much-loved seasonal labour of love which displays enough talent to compare with any professional regional panto.

Here's to 2020 and Cinderella.

Sparkling success - four stars