GETTING into the head of a four-year old is not an easy thing ­— but JULIA TAYLOR managed it at a festive production in Sale

I shrank in size and reduced my age by decades to become four years when I joined other ‘children’ to see Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, at Waterside Arts.

This wonderful story is a Lyric Hammersmith and Pins and Needles production.

If you’ve ever thought about the work Father Christmas has to do on Christmas Eve, here is your chance to watch him do it.

Mike Aherne’s Santa Claus is a bit grumpy when he wakes up on Christmas Eve. But, after a cup of tea, feels much better.

Spotlighted above him is Katy Sobey who accompanies him on strings, brass and percussion.

He fills a wheelbarrow full of presents, almost tipping them over the young audience, but he also has to feed his reindeer and, most exciting of all, fly away into the winter’s night.

Santa has to squeeze through narrow, sooty chimneys to deliver his gifts, not forgetting the children at Buckingham Palace.

Fortunately, he has his cheeky pet’s cat and dog to support him.

Thanks to the work of puppeteer Richard Booth and Max Humphries who designs and creates pets, which some of the little ones think are real.

Many of the children enjoy pre-ordered milk and cookies for only £2.

I think Hugo Johnston, aged four, who was sitting next to me, had this treat.

Hugo had travelled from Los Angeles to stay with his gran in Sale. He said: “I liked all of it — especially the reindeer.”

The show lasts 50 minutes so it never becomes boring. It’s definitely a seasonal treat

Most of the performances are in the morning or afternoon.

Father Christmas is at Waterside Arts until Monday, December 31.

Tickets from the box office, 0161 912 5616. Star rating: * * * *