JUST as the director, Rik Gaffney promised, Dick Whittington is probably Urmston Musical Theatre’s best panto yet.

Olivia Barratt’s Dick should take a bow for a second to none performance. She has perfect poise and posture, slaps her thighs and sings beautifully. Her solo A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes, is wonderful.

When she and Olivia Callaghan, the principal girl, sing duets you can hear a pin drop from the usually animated children.

Under the choreography of Emma Harris and the musical direction of Ed Nurse, these two and everyone else, are immaculate in their movement and in perfect harmony when they sing.

The children love the dame, Adam Garnett, and, making his stage debut, Eamonn Hesling as Idle Jack who reveals his name, previously kept secret from his family. I bet they cheered their heads off for him. He deserves it!

He has the kids wrapped around his little finger when he urges them to say “Water the Rose Tree”.

They boo their heads off at Ian Darke’s evil King Rat and are relieved when Mia Halfpenny’s cat sees him off.

There is a great scene at the start of Act 2 when we watch Jack board an ingeniously designed boat to depart for Morocco.

Once again, well done Urmston Musical Theatre. You are the tops.

* Dick Whittington is a Urmston Leisure Centre at 7.30 until February 17. On Saturday, February 18 there are performances at noon and 4.00. For tickets see umt.org.uk or telephone 0161 408 1288 (answerphone) Star rating: * * * *