Bedford panto Hansel and Gretel is a sweet treat this Christmas

If you love your panto at Christmas but want it with a hilarious modern twist, the Quarry Theatre's Hansel and Gretel is a sweet treat.

It's a brightly-coloured, fun-filled, sugar-fuelled adventure, that warns you not to take sweet from strangers - even if they are playing a pastiche of Aerosmith and Run-DMC's Walk This Way on their electric guitar.

And worry not, all you adults - as there's plenty of cheeky humour to keep you entertained too.

I was lucky enough to catch Hansel and Gretel at St Peter's Street theatre in Bedford at the weekend - and even luckier to be sitting next to a youngster (let's face it, the panto's target audience) to witness his absolute delight as the story unfolded.

Richard Mann as Miss Candycane Cackles in the Quarry Theatre's Hansel and Gretel

We all know the Brothers Grimm's yarn. The youngsters are kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch in a house made of candy. All very scary, of course. But, let's hope - boys and girls - there's someone on hand to save the day. It IS Christmas, after all.

In a first for the Quarry Theatre, the panto features a cast of Bedford and London-based professional actors - and promises plenty of ‘he’s behind you’ tradition as well as high-energy takes on some well-known tracks by Stevie Wonder, Lizzo and the Arctic Monkeys.

Starring Richard Mann as the wonderfully-evil Miss Candycane Cackles, Caspar Cordwell James and Rae Fitzell as the title characters, Sara Turner as the truly lovable Papa Peanut and Samantha Clarke as Elfie the Elf, this panto is an absolute delight.

I was grinning from ear to ear, especially as my personal favourite - the Spaghetti Yeti - had a touch of The Mighty Boosh about him.

A triumph. You'd be a fool to miss it. Oh yes, you would.

Hansel and Gretel runs from now until Sunday, December 22 at The Quarry Theatre, St Peter's Street, Bedford, with performances at noon and 3pm at weekends. Tickets are £10 children and £12.50 for adults. Family rates and group discounts available. Click here for more details.