Oh yes they will! Panto season is upon us and rehearsals are underway as venues get ready to entertain with family favourites.

The Grand Opera House in York will showcase its 14th pantomime this festive season with Sleeping Beauty, starring Deena Payne, best known for playing the part of Viv Hope in Emmerdale.

Syd Little, who was half of the comedy act Little and Large, and David Heath, a member of Eton Road, a group from Liverpool that took part in 2006 in the third series of The X Factor, will also take part in the pantomime, which will run from Friday, December 14 to Sunday, January 6.

Lizzie Richards, general manager of the Grand Opera House, said: “This year’s spectacular pantomime at the Grand Opera House will delight audiences of all ages, bringing fun for all the family this Christmas.”

Other pantomimes in the area include Cinderella at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre and Robin Hood And His Merry Mam! at York Theatre Royal.

Cinderella is also running at York Barbican between December 21 and 30, featuring Tracy Beaker star Dani Harmer, who is currently on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, along with Joe Swash.

Producer Antony Stuart-Hicks said cast members were having to tear themselves away from the television shows for rehearsals.

He said: “The Cinderella cast are buzzing with excitement. They are such a talented, generous cast and they’ve all been glued to Strictly giving Dani support and watching I’m A Celebrity to see Joe Swash’s cheeky antics in Australia.

‘‘It’s going to be such a magical show and we all can’t wait to get to panto land and get started.”

Dani, who takes the title role, may be unable to appear in one day of the panto run, as Saturday, December 22 clashes with the Strictly final. But Barbican operators have said the show will go ahead with talented understudies.

Antony said: “Now Christmas is just around the corner, people are getting into a festive mood, sales are coming in thick and fast.”