Their pleasure is infectious and even the most exhausted of teachers can’t help but join in with the clapping and cheering eventually.
And anyway if they don’t they risk being ritually humiliated in front of their class by the Dame armed with a water pistol.
So it was that while watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Chesterfield on Tuesday afternoon everyone ended up on their feet singing and dancing until the final curtain fell.
The Pomegranate Theatre’s pantomime from Paul Holman Associates is packed with fun and frolics, music and madness, glitz and glamour. Even some snow fell on the auditorium to gasps of amazement from the excited youngsters.
Derby-born Natalie Law was returning to the theatre for her second panto – this time in the title role and she was perfect for the part of pretty heroine.
Her Prince was played with panache by Jonathan Ansell, a tenor with the pop-opera group G4 who shot to fame on The X Factor.
Taking the role of the Wicked Queen was singer Nicki French, who is probably best known for her dance track Total Eclipse of the Heart, which topped the charts in the 1990s. We were treated to a rendition and she clearly hasn’t lost any of her prowess.
As always with the Chesterfield show, the Pantomime Dancers were outstanding and especially during the winter forest scene, in which Naomi Scott, as the Forest Fairy, was also able to showcase her acrobatic skills on beautiful aerial silks.
However it was the slapstick that won the day.
Serving up the comedy capers we had veterans of the comic circuit Mike Newman Jr as Muddles and Adam Daye, as Dame Dolly Dumpling joined by the relative newcomer Philip Green as the rather camp Herman The Henchman.
The children loved the tomfoolery and we adults could titter at the sassy one-liners and that’s just as it should be.
The Pantomime Dancers were Sarah Faith Brown, Amy Hopkins, Jordan Jules-Stock, Declan Morgan, Alice Porter and Jade Stevenson.
The Pantomime Children were Blue Team: Madeline Brooks, Courtney Dakin, Robyn Kirk, Cerys McGarry, Elysia Ottewell, Francesca Salt and Alexandra Somers. Red Team: Bethany Crew, Lacey Fletcher, Vienna Harkness, Sophie Jerram, Millie Hattersley-Mather, Maia Oldfield, Sasha Myronko, Emma Scragg and Sophie Toyn.
The director was Richard Cheshire, the choreographer Hayley-Jane Simmonds and musical director Andrew Hopkins.
The percussionist was Sam Jay Turner and the voices of the dwarfs were Matthew Ashforde, Oli Green, Ben Holder and Lee Waddingham.
The pantomime is on until January 3. For tickets go to http://www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk