There was a great, colourful, lively, bouncy opening to this year’s panto, Aladdin. A splendid set by Spraoi, a great pit and live musicians, punchy modern pop tunes, a lot of tv referenced jokes and visuals, co-ordinated costumes from Blanaid MacCann, zippy lighting from Aidan McGrath. Fresh and energetic choreography from Michelle Condon. A wonderful all-action, all singing, all running around cast who did Director Bryan Flynn proud, with a blast of a show that said – Goodbye to the past, take that to tradition, not a dirty auld eejit line in sight. Helo Jedward, The Apprentice, Deal Or No Deal, Katie Price and Hello entertainment.

From the opening Black Eyed Peas tune, I Gotta Feeling and a Dame of a Lady Gaga’s Poker Face and a happy lash of Pixie Lott, it was high energy all the way. Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies introduced the beautiful Jasmine.

Before you knew it, Aladdin and Jasmine were off on a magic carpet, defying gravity, and soaring out over the edge of the stage. Magical awe-inspiring stuff.

The second act had thrills and spills, great party songs and Mercy from Duffy, made a great song for the baddie, Abanazar. Dizzying run around routines, snappy jokes for all ages – a Christmas song to rock the rafters and a glorious A Friend Like Me to close out a modern memorable panto.

Wayne Browne’s pit was electric and live and the Children Dancers, led by Becky Wise, were Amber Searson, Chloe Wall, Katie Roche, Megan Delahunty, Libby Flynn and Claudine Daly.

An Un-named Minnie Mouse greeted the arriving audience and I even got a hug – not something I usually get, at the Royal.

Ciara Larkin, Lauren Cardiff, Zandra Kelly, Ciara Flynn, Cliona Ryan and Zoe Cuddihy had clever costumed cameos.

Mags Keane did the make-up. Hazel Kelly was a feisty Genie with attitude and young Nathan Carey was a star-in-the-making as Bebo, a mini-genie. Anne Corcoran Brown not only organizes the show but she popped in as Spirit Of The Ring as well.

Sinead Flynn was a howl as the much put upon Rick Shaw. Scol Grant was dynamite as Wishee Washee and Brenda Giles was excellent as Strong Pong – she is, of course, another star in the vaudeville family of Corcorans. Her brother Paul Corcoran was a menacing Abanazar who loved the booing and bantering. Tony Corcoran was Widow Twankey to the manor born, with style, energy and he made old jokes into new laughs.

Freda Quinlan was beautiful as Jasmine and acted, sang and danced into the hearts of a happy audience. David Condon was splendid and he was essential to the fast moving entertainment. He was outstanding in a high quality high octane family entertainment. Oh Yes He Was!