CHIPPY'S panto Mother Goose is stuffed (if you will pardon the unfortunate expression) with nursery rhymes.

There are traditional nursery rhymes, set to jaunty tunes by Chippy's stalwart musical director, Peter Pontzen. And there are allusions to nursery rhymes too: "How do you make someone from Banbury Cross?" Why, "You tell them you come from Chipping Norton," of course.

Mother Goose needs money, for she is seriously behind with the rent on her picturesque cottage (designer Simon Higlett has once again excelled himself with his colourful sets). Luckily landlord Squire Goodheart (Stan Pretty, suitably tweedy and red of the complexion) is quite keen on his tenant: "Your mother's a cracker," he informs her son Simon (Simon McCoy). "Are you saying you want to pull my mother at Christmas?" replies Simon, quick as a flash. Money is needed, too, for two weddings: Simon is in love with Mary (Allie Croker), the Squire's daughter, and Jill Goose (Charlotte Thompson) has eyes only for Jack (Adam Lea). Could the Squire be persuaded to overlook the matter of the missing rent, and pay for the weddings? No chance, once Demon Discontent (Andrew Piper) hisses his way on to the stage: "I'll turn their happiness into hell," he snarls.

Will Priscilla the Goose and Fairy Fulfilment save the day? There's a good chance. Priscilla (Danielle Gardner) duly lays a plentiful supply of golden eggs.

For the second year running, director Caroline Sharman and scriptwriter Simon Brett have hit the ground running with this sparkling, fast-moving, and snappily performed show.

  • Mother Goose continues at The Theatre, Chipping Norton, until Saturday, January 6. Box office: 01608 642350.