"The same –but different." said Ofpants, the official panto watchdog, comparing this Cinderella and the one we'd seen earlier in the month at The Palace, Kilmarnock.

Both were from the producing stable of Imagine Theatre, and given the distance between the venues it would have been easy for the company to duplicate the material –who would ever know? But no. And while the watchdog was thrilled that Eden Court was, like Kilmarnock, upholding the tradition of the principal boy – and twice over, with Clare Waugh a delightfully dashing Prince and Morna Macpherson an amusingly bossy-boots Dandini –he applauded how the Inverness panto had been tailored to the strengths of the cast.

The chirpy quality to Alastair G Bruce's Buttons sits well with the participatory business of the audience guarding the rose he's shyly growing for Cinders (inset)– the girlies near me would have jumped at the chance to be Mrs B, while the lads were ready to be his best mates. No-one was keen to have a snog with Flatula (Iain Laughlan, who co-wrote the script with Will Brenton) or Verruca (Greg Powrie), but two male teachers found themselves the love objects of these raucously insistent dames who, in an increasingly hilarious running gag , summoned the guys onstage to sit in heart-shaped thrones and be turned into (clown-ish) boyfriends. There's a slapstick make-over routine, a magical transformation to take Cinders (Anna Mitcham) to the ball and the kind of musical numbers that work for all ages – the kind of show that makes panto just the ticket for families.