Of all the festive entertainments on offer, the one most eagerly looked forward to by this reviewer is the offering by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.

Each production astounds with the inventiveness of the director, Dale Rooks and hercreative team, and the incredible talent of her 60-strong, young casts.

This year’s offering stages the strange adventures of Alice as she falls firstly down the rabbit hole and, in the second act, through the looking glass.

Both stories provide a wealth of colourful and bizarre characters for the youngsters to bring to life and inhabit on a stunning set. They are helped by costumes that dazzle with their richness.

Emily Dyble is a delightful Alice – a major role alternated throughout the run with Winter Loseby.

Ella Small makes a sweet Dormouse whilst knockout performances from Edward Eustace and Matthew Aldridge as the March Hare and Mad Hatter are matched by Ben Geering and Sam Peake’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

If space allowed every part could be picked out for mention, such is the quality on display.

Whilst the acting and presentation justify fulsome praise, a personal note of dissatisfaction has to be levelled at Lewis Carroll. His excessive absurdity does not always come across as funny and often irritates.

However, jaunty music, fine singing and dancing and some splendid slapstick humour come to the rescue in this production.

Special praise must go to the White Rabbit ensemble, who not only carry out seamless scene changes, but also execute lively dance routines, particularly The Lobster Quadrille.

* Until Jan 1. Call 01243 781312.