Stratford on Stage's latest production - Cinderfella Hits Field Days - is an entertaining play with a feel-good factor that isn't just thanks to the predictably happy ending.
While the play itself is as well written and developed as you would expect from the pen of drama teacher and poet Judi Billcliff, it's the talent on stage that will leave you feeling excited about the future of theatre in Stratford.
Under Donna Drummond's skilled direction, the team of actors take the audience on a fun romp through a light-hearted re-imagining of the age-old Cinderella tale.
In this version, Cinderella is in fact Cinderfella, a put-upon farmhand on his stepmother's farm. Playing the title role is Lucas Jacobsen who steps up to the role beautifully.
Despite being on stage for most of the show, he doesn't miss a beat, delivering his lines with a well-tuned mix of sarcasm and humbleness that gives his character a believable angle.
He is well matched on stage in his scenes with his step-siblings - Claude (Charlotte North), Stan (Charlotte Frazier) and Daisy (Ashley Swan).
This fractious trio have been brilliantly cast and directed, especially when it comes to their more physical scenes.
The choreography of their scramble over a chip packet is well thought out, but more to the point is absolutely perfectly enacted by the three actors.
They play their individual roles well, with Ashley Swan giving Daisy a lovely dose of sisterly snark as she delivers some of her insults to her brothers, while Charlotte Frazier makes Stan a fantastically annoying character.
If their sibling rivalry were to spill over into real life when it came to competing for attention however, then it is Charlotte North's Claude who would win the battle.
Her posture, actions and words are all perfectly balanced and if you didn't know it was her, you would swear it was indeed a male teen swaggering across the stage as Claude.
Lucy Green plays the role of Cinderfella's stepmother, and she steps up to the role with aplomb, with her facial expressions and body language speaking for her whether she is delivering a line or not.
Judi Billcliff's original version of this play uses a narrator to keep the pace moving, a concept director Donna Drummond took and elevated by using two talented teens (Kelsi Bailey and Jordyn Buckland) in the role rather than just one.
By splitting the lines between them she creates some great comedy as the two narrators bounce energy off each other. Both actors are excellent in the role, and are a joy to watch throughout.
Placing them in their own space on the stage, alongside the brilliant hair and makeup team's creative work on the two actors really lifts the whole thing, turning them into cynical and grumpy old men in the style of Statler and Waldorf of The Muppets fame.
Another stroke of genius comes from the idea of using them as front of house and allowing them to break the fourth wall at times, talking directly to the audience, which in the intimate setting of The Castle really adds to the atmosphere.
The quintet of royal guards provide some of the other best laughs of the play, with a well chosen line up creating great visual comedy everytime they are on stage.
Cohen Jacobsen, as the smallest of the royal guards, is brilliantly entertaining to watch, and he carries his talent over to his other two roles in the play - as a baby rat and a small "nice child".
That's not to say the other royal guards aren't also great, all five of them play their parts well, and again are not restricted to just one role in the play, meaning they have plenty of opportunity to show their acting skills - a challenge they each step up to well throughout.
The royal family, Ben Sextus (King George), Maddison Walsh (Queen Gertrude) and Celia Gribble (Princess), are well matched in their scenes as are the rat and pukeko families.
All the groups of actors on stage work well with each other and do far more than simply deliver their lines - the rats constantly groom, twitch and scamper, the pukekos scavenge and flap and the royal family balance their regal airs with an element of perfectly played ennui.
Any version of the Cinderella story wouldn't be complete without a fairy godmother of course, and veteran actress Patsy Commerford delivers a masterclass in comedic acting as she steps onto stage, wings and all.
While her costuming could be argued as channelling a little bit of Dame Edna (in a good way), her performance is pure Patsy - everything you would expect if you have ever had the joy of seeing her on stage before, which most Stratford theatre-goers certainly have.
This play is a brilliantly put together show that will entertain the whole family.
No matter if you have family or friends in the play or not, it is worth grabbing a ticket for an entertaining night out that doesn't just feature a fairytale ending, but also serves as a reminder that magic still exists when it comes to live theatre, and the future of theatre is in good hands with this next generation of actors.