Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, until Sat 3 Jan
Sally (Julie Heatherill) is the bonniest lass in the whole of the Honest Toun, but her bitter and twisted auntie Grizzlebone (Lori McLean) is having none of her 18th birthday. Instead, she plans to impose a few more than 40 winks upon the girl, with help from an assorted bunch of miscreants, including the Loch Ness monster herself. Un Nessy-ssery cruelty? With only her glaikit pal Jamie (Aaron Usher), her T-boy Ma (Graham Crammond) and (unaccountably) Count Dracula (Edward Cory) to help, can she be saved from the Big Sleep?
Liam Rudden’s relatively traditional panto overcomes a paucity of resources with aplomb, showing some leg through the moments in this story which usually represent a sticking point. Heatherill is sweetly endearing as the title character and Crammond’s dame is redoubtable as ever, while Jodie Campbell’s tomboyish Ruby, the Highland lass who’s befriended Nessy, puts in a splendid turn. If one or two of the songs move a little further away from crowd-pleasing than is strictly advisable, the piece pulls itself back with a nice, nostalgic Shang-a-Lang number, and some old fashioned gags well executed by all and sundry.