IT’S that time of year again – oh yes it is!

It’s the Knutsford Little Theatre Panto, Red Riding Hood, written by Bob Hammond and directed by Sean Duvall.

Chickens feature heavily in this version of Red Riding Hood, not to mention two delightful French Hens and Three Little Pigs.

All are of great interest to the Big Bad Wolf, who has promised not to eat people, but Farmer Hood’s animals are still on his menu.

In fact, the chickens, clucked at by Mother Hen, Chris Race, and her birdbrain sidekick Clarissa, Jill Brown, provide a wonderful chorus line – even their voice warm-up exercises in rehearsal were good.

With 90 per cent of the music being original, in-house compositions, Mike Wilding, musical director, and his band of merry musicians do their usual excellent job.

Tessa Sawyer plays a modern and very feisty Red Riding Hood, and Chris Marriott will have everyone in stitches from his first appearance as Grannie Hood.

Grannie is suffering from unrequited love of the short-sighted doctor, David Muncaster, whose buxom nurse, played by Jo Ashley, does little to help him in the surgery.

Viccie Dougall, our very own Guardian prize-winning singer, is excellent as Tom, the shy woodcutter: more unrequited love.

Then there is Mr Wolf himself – a handsome chappy – but very naughty, looked after by his devoted manservant Lurch, Patrick Smith.

Will that wolf, played by Riyaz Assrafally, be a reformed character by the end of the show? Well, there is only one way to find out.

Add a large dose of slapstick from Bob Jennings as Farmer Hood, and Callum Evans as Walter, helped by a guest appearance from the director, and you are on track for the well-known climax in Grannie Hood’s cottage ‘deep in the heart of the forest’.

Make sure you watch out for ‘The Hooded Avenger’, played by Iwan Rees.

Tickets, especially matinees, are selling fast, so ring 01565 873515 to book. The panto runs from January 19 to 22 and January 26 to 28. Evening performances start at 7pm.