It was to be my first pantomime in over 30 years. My first pantomime as an adult. My first pantomime in Derry. I was unsure what to expect and even when I arrived earlier tonight at the Millennium Forum I still felt a little apprehensive.
I brought my two little cousins and their mother along with me. One of the boys had never been to a pantomime and his mother announced on arrival that it was her first also. Heavens, what was in store?
At approximately 7.30pm Fairy Rose Petal arrived on stage and from that moment I laughed, I foot-tapped, I clapped and I cheered. It was magical in a childhood sense. But it wasn't just for children. William Caulfield as Dame Trot had every audience member in laughter outbursts with his adult and then child anecdotes, jokes and all round humour.
Conor O'Kane was superb in his role as Jack and Gerard McCabe was priceless as Silly Billy. The entire cast had the audience on the edge of their seats with laughter.
Jack and the Beanstalk remains one of the best loved pantomimes and the Derry cast did not disappoint tonight. The show was packed to the limit with fabulous dance routines, magical scenes and special effects, hilarious comedy and all round fun. This was an energetic treat for one and all.
Three little girls were taken on stage near the end and spoke eloquently when interviewed by Dame Trot. They sang exquisitely and deserved their gift from Fairy Rose Petal.
Poor Linda seated near the front became one of the cast throughout the show and fair play for conducting the audience when instructed to do so by Dame Trot.
The stage setting was spectacular. Each change was equally impressive.
Daisy the Cow however, surely stole the show. What fantastic movements Daisy did pull off! And as for delivering bottles of Guinness, I might have a use for Daisy!
If you need a family day or night out over the festive season, this is certainly the event to choose. From the gigantic beanstalk, the magic beans, the golden goose, and good old Daisy, this is the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, Jack and Billy and so much more.
The music excelled and the singing was outstanding throughout. There was Pharrell Williams, Biffy Clyro, Michael Jackson, Frozen and even One Direction. It rocked in every way.
Jack and the Beanstalk has all the ingredients for a spectacular pantomime and they blend together brilliantly. And it puts a whole new meaning to the song, 'How does a brown cow give white milk, when it only eats green grass'!
Huge congratulations to all involved and thanks for a great night.
Tickets for the pantomime are available from the Forum Box Office, tel: 02871264455 or on the Forum's website www.millenniumforum.co.uk