THE auditorium was filled with excited children waiting to see this classical tale - which turned out to have been adapted into a unique and bizarre show.

The Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas is a magical family pantomime, led by soap sensation Shane Richie. The panto merges the set, costumes and staging from a previous London show with a brand-new script.

The much-loved story of Dick Whittington is brought to life with comedy, live music and plenty of audience participation.

Shane Richie gives the show its charm with high energy and lots of comedic moments in his quest to find his fame, fortune and a lover in the London streets which are paved with gold.

He must stop the wicked Queen Rat from stealing his loot, as the audience join forces to shout the classic, ‘he’s behind you’ to battle the infested rats on his journey to London.

Dick Whittington is joined by Captain Cockles (Peter Piper) Sarah the Cook (David O’Reilly) and his on-stage romance Alice Fitzwarren (Christine Tucker) who take part in the antics.

There were some incredible special effects with a scene where Dick travels on a London bus that dramatically floats above the stage, moving out over the audience.

The group were entertaining with lots of audience participation by having tongue twisters and plenty of musical displays including their version of 12 days of Christmas but a shipwrecked, under the water alternative.

Five toilet rolls did end up in the audience a few times and a stumble backwards by Dick Whittington to grab them from Captain Cockles led to the set being pulled down as cast behind the curtain scrambled to get off stage.

The auditorium was full of giggling kids and adults by this point, who were not too sure if that was supposed to happen or not but you could not stop laughing regardless.

The show was a loose adaptation of Dick Whittington as the storyline often went off at a tangent - so if you didn’t know much about Dick Whittington beforehand you might have left a little confused.

Costumes were extravagant and very well put together with golden outfits for the final scene - though I felt it was a shame they didn’t round it off with more dialogue

The cast was energetic and certainly packed the show full of fun with modern songs and traditional panto tunes, and audience participation took centre stage.