MAYBE school homework had to take priority in the week, but there are no excuses to miss out on Swallows and Amazons this evening or tomorrow.

It is billed as a musical adventure suitable for six year olds and upwards, and that is true, what with the invitation to throw soft rocks at Captain Flint at the finale, but six year olds don’t read reviews, so here are three reasons to be cheerful for you too, if you need an excuse to drag them along.

Firstly, the adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s between-the-wars children’s story is by Helen Edmundson, writer of the National Theatre’s Coram Boy. Secondly, the director is Tom Morris, the same Tom Morris who directed the visually remarkable War Horse. And thirdly, the National Theatre has its esteemed paw prints on this production, staged in tandem with the Bristol Old Vic and Children’s Touring Partnership.

Oh, and here’s a fourth: fleet-witted Irishman Neil Hannon, of The Divine Comedy, has written the music, luxuriant cellos, rich melodies, heightened drama et al.

If your children have enjoyed Peter Pan or The Wind In The Willows at York Theatre Royal, the chances are they will love this new adaptation too.

Rather than water, water everywhere, Morris and Edmundson have taken the Kneehigh line of letting the cast pretty much invent everything from their imagination: two ribbons, one white, the other blue, signify the lakes; garden shears take on a new life as birds; foley artist skills provide the sound of wind and rain and thunder.

Adults play children, the biggest and most bearded (Stewart Wright) playing the youngest Walker child, Roger, while Akiya Henry is utterly wonderful as Titty.

Humorous, inventive, and playing on nostalgia and retro language without sending it up, this musical delight is a joyous journey into a bygone childhood idyll.

Swallows And Amazons, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, tonight at 7pm; tomorrow at 1.30pm and 7pm. Box office: 0113 213 7700.