It is surely the cruellest irony that theatres which stood empty last Christmas should now find themselves sledge-hammered by another variant of the virus - just when we needed the escapism, the noise, the laughs and the sheer joy of panto more than evert.
The Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline looked magnificent all lit up on a dark Friday night as it got into its stride for the first week of its short festive run with Cinderella.
And it is a fantastic, hugely entertaining show.
The panto is packed with gags - some golden oldies among ‘em but delivered with perfect timing to still spark laughter - sketches, great songs and some superb sets.
And a masked-up audience loved it.
So much of the show’s energy comes from Ian ‘Sheepie’ Smith making his Alhambra as Buttons.
He builds an instant rapport with the audience, and keeps the momentum going every time he hits the stage.
He also bounces off, and around, a cast which all work incredibly hard to deliver a show that ticks every panto tradition from sweets to singing contests, and knows exactly what its audience wants - nowhere more so than when they team up for the old ‘behind you’ routine to the Ghostbusters theme.
Jenny Douglas is fabulous as Cinderella, and David Rankine and Cameron Fulton have a ball as the ugly sisters.
The song choices are also spot on - The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles will never fail to get an audience involved!
It’s entirely understandable that people are opting to stay home in the current climate times - like every nearby restaurant, bar and venue, the Alhambra is experiencing no shows - but I can only say that I felt completely safe at the theatre.
It was my first visit since before March 2020.
I couldn’t have picked a brighter, more colourful or richly entertaining show for my return.
Cinderella is at the Alhambra Theatre until December 27.
Tickets from the Alhambra Theatre box office on (01383) 733666 or online www.ticketmaster.co.uk