If you’re looking for a charming, family-friendly Christmas pantomime that mixes traditional and modern elements, The Cresset’s production of The Wizard of Oz is just the ticket. 

With flashing wands, candy-floss and programmes for sale, there’s a buzz of excitement immediately after stepping foot inside the theatre at Bretton, Peterborough.

After our tickets are checked and we take our seats, the action quickly gets underway as the festive-jumper-wearing audience is transported to a magical panto-land.

From the off, there’s a distinctly immersive element to the production as the characters climb down from the stage and high five those on the front rows. 

As well as colourful set designs (the sweet-branded tree backdrop is a nostalgic favourite) and sparkling costumes, there are plenty of modern technologically-advanced touches (the special effects are consistently impressive). 

Musically, the choice of singalong songs throughout the show offers a great variation of older classics and recently-released upbeat bangers, meaning there’s something for all ages to enjoy.

While the tracks drive the story forward and tie chapters together, the entire cast really give it their all throughout the show, especially the younger dancers. 

And, it goes without saying, the characters are all loveable and instantly likeable, particularly Toto the dog (Alex Walton), and Glinda the Good Witch who is played by EastEnders legend Cheryl Ferguson (of course there’s an obligatory doof-doof moment and brief Walford reference).

Less loved but equally compelling was the Wicked Witch (Katie Paine relishing the panto villain role) who received plenty of boos. One small note, however, is that there is no panto dame. 

Nonetheless, thanks to the cast’s tireless energy, this all-singing all-dancing pantomime is a fun and magic-filled festive treat.

The Wizard of Oz is at The Cresset until December 31. Visit the theatre’s website for performance times. With ticket prices frozen from 2022, call the box office on 01733 265705 or email boxoffice@cresset.co.uk to book.