The panto season arrived early this year, with Ha Ha Hood! And The Prince of Leaves making a one-night visit to Eastbourne on Monday.

Tommy Cannon, playing both the Sheriff of Nottingham and Little John, and Bobby Ball (Guy of Gisborne and Friar Tuck) were in their element as they hammed up their double roles.

Some of the material in this latest Ha Ha farce written by Ben Langley could be stronger, and a switch to the Winter Garden meant producer/director Jamie Wilson had to cope with a lack of the intimate setting which Devonshire Park Theatre would have provided.

But Cannon and Ball were able to fall back on established comedy routines. The bubbly Su Pollard of Hi-De-Hi fame, as Maid Marian, and Ben Langley (Robin Hood) also provided amusing ad-libs, while Bobby added an attack of flatulence.

Pollard displayed an impressive vocal range and joined Langley in an entertaining rendition of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be when Marian and Robin got together again, ten years after a messy divorce, to foil the evil Sheriff.

Pianist Andy Pickering joined in the fun as members of the audience became stooges for the cast in a series of pranks.