Round the Twist, by Brendan Murray, Eastern Angles, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, until January 7; Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge, January 10-21

Dear Santa, for Christmas I want every festive show to be this good.

The team behind Mansfield Park and Ride reunite for an anarchic romp through the works of Charles Dickens which ticks all the boxes.

Silly songs (pay attention during the opening number, you’ll thank me later), a twisting-turning, coincidence-crammed plot worthy of the man himself and jokes and innuendo that’ll make you roar with laughter and groan in equal measure.

Aspiring actor and playwright Oliver Nicklefield recruits the Crumbles family and friends to perform his life story; each taking on multiple roles with mounting hilarity. To go into any more detail would spoil the fun.

Performed in the round you really feel part of the action; during several scenes you actually are, but not in an intimidating way. The theatre space is used to great effect; I’ll never look at horse-racing the same.

Dickens fans will love the show, spotting novel titles and in-jokes. Don’t worry if you don’t know who Dickens is, the story more than stands on its own two feet.

The cast were all fantastic but if I had to pick anybody out for particular praise Sally Ann Burnett would just edge it.

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I imagine this review will be just the first of many glowing testimonials. Donkeys.

WAYNE SAVAGE

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