MADCAP dash up and down the theatre steps. Tick. Over the top medley of Queen hits. Tick. Audience participation slot when one child gets a fit of the giggles. Tick.

I’ve seen many star-studded, big budget pantos over the years but few hold a (Christmas) candle to Worcester Live’s seasonal offerings.

This year’s festive treat, Jack and the Beanstalk, is no exception with plenty of laughs, songs and energetic performances from the smiling cast.

The plot – boy gives away family cow for bag of “magic” beans – is straightforward and familiar, allowing the audience to have a good time and munch sweets.

Ben Humphrey heads the cast as likeable Jack with Fiona McGregor suitably charming as love interest Jill.

Oliver Brooks captured many a laugh as Jack’s bad joke-telling brother Simon while Richard Curnow’s Dame Trott predictably got all the best costumes, including a fantastic cow themed frock.

Liz Grand’s sullen Challice and Rob Leetham’s scatty Fleshie drew boos as the giant’s yes men and Pippa Meekings was an agile and sweet-voiced Fairy Fireworks.

Bravo to writer and director Chris Jaeger for pulling off another Swan success.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs until January 4. For tickets, call 01905 611427.