Our family trip to the Cornerstone to watch this year’s Christmas show, The Pied Piper, was our first visit to Didcot’s arts venue – and we could not have been made to feel more welcome.

After a mug of hot chocolate in the charming little café we settled into our seats for the performance.

Director Andrew Barry has put together a fabulously accomplished cast of five who are not only wonderful actors and singers but also adept musicians and percussionists. They are joined by a brilliantly talented group of children who are as engaging to watch as their adult counterparts. These young stars are obviously having the time of their lives, and that enthusiasm is mirrored by the young faces in the audience.

Writer, Matt Borgatti, has transported the German town of Hamelin into modern-day rural Oxfordshire and this works perfectly for the classic story. The Mayor of Hamelin for example (played with great humour by Niall Kerrigan) could be the civic leader of any town.

There is plenty for parents and children alike to enjoy. I was thoroughly entertained by Michelle Long as Glenda. It must be fun to play the baddie of the piece and Michelle does it superbly. My children loved the character of Benny played by Nicholas Mclean and his transformation into a rat at the hands of Glenda. There’s some beautiful rat puppetry here!

This production is also notable for its catchy original songs. I doubt we would have been the only family singing them on the journey home. “Mess things up, find your sound” possibly taken too literally once we got home but I can hardly blame musical creative team Will Dollard and Mary Erkskine for that.

A massively entertaining evening; we loved every second.

The Pied Piper is on until December 30 and I urge you to go and catch it.