A TALE of being stuck in isolation — Rapunzel was the obvious pantomime choice for 2020.

Being in Tier One meant the traditional panto at Shanklin Theatre could go ahead – albeit with a one-way system around the auditorium, a very socially distanced audience, and no opportunity to shout out the traditional "oh no you didn't" type phrases.

The audiences had to wear masks throughout, but that aside, it was FAB-U-LOUS to be back in front of a stage, watching a live performance.

Isle of Wight County Press: Centre, Dominic Pope as Battersea Holmes, in Shanklin Theatre's Rapunzel.Centre, Dominic Pope as Battersea Holmes, in Shanklin Theatre's Rapunzel.

We were in for a festive treat, served up with lashings of relevant Covid gags, a-joke-a-minute, brilliant performances by every cast member, pyrotechnics and a clever and entertaining spin on the promised messy scene.

As always with the Spotlight IOW professionals, it couldn't be faulted.

The bar was set high right from the off, so my advice to anyone heading to the panto is — don't be late to your seats. Without spoiling the surprise, the way the new theatre rules were explained was one of the highlights.

Dominic Pope deserves a special mention not only for his performance, but for writing such a funny, contemporary script.

Isle of Wight County Press: James Pellow as Dame Pumpernickel at Shanklin Theatre.James Pellow as Dame Pumpernickel at Shanklin Theatre.

The voices and song choices were really good, from Dance Monkey to Blinding Lights, with 'Pretty Fly for an Isle of Wight Guy' one of the highlights.

The popular German fairytale, since taken on by Disney and turned into Tangled, is not often performed as panto, but all the traditional roles were there. Well done to Rowan Lathey (Rapunzel), James Derbyshire (Prince Dieter), Ashleigh Mackness (Fairy Harmony), Traci Stockman (wicked witch Frau Gothel), James Pellow (Dame Pumpernickel) and Jayne Derbyshire (a German Bo Peep) and the rest of the cast.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Spotlight IOW cast, in Rapunzel.The Spotlight IOW cast, in Rapunzel.

Tickets are by phone only, on 868000. The show is on until January 3.