Jerry Herman’s musical tells of the early days of silent film making and the relationship between film director Mack Sennett and his greatest star Mabel Norman.

The plot shows us Mabel stumbling into the world of film making; her love affair with Sennett and its breakdown interwoven with Sennett’s creation of the Keystone Cops and his troupe of Bathing Beauties.

There is a terrific score which mixes slapstick with great production numbers. All choreographed with Stephen Mear’s usual panache – a highlight being the exhilarating tap routine led by the always impressive Anna-Jane Casey.

But it’s the two ballads that tower above the rest - I Won’t Send Roses and Time Heals Everything.

Returning to the stage where he triumphed as Sweeney Todd, Michael Ball gives another stellar performance - once again losing his cuddly bear image and reinventing himself as the domineering Sennett.

Rebecca LaChance abandons Broadway for Chichester to play Mabel and what a fine job she makes of it. She reflects all the facets of the heroine’s personality and delivers her two big numbers with powerful emotion.

Director, Jonathan Church, his cast and creative team have put together a superb production that must herald another West End transfer.

Five stars