White Christmas - The Musical, The Mayflower, Southampton, until Saturday, November 26.

After a summer singin’ in the rain in Chichester, Adam Cooper is now singing in the snow in Southampton - and great fun it is too.

Monday, 21st November 2011, 7:23 am

Cooper, so superb at the CFT, is similarly impressive in a slightly-early showing of the ultimate Christmas musical, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

The only possible complaint is that you come out at the end all fired up for the festive season, only to rediscover that it’s still only November.

Those chestnuts will have to go on hold for a while, but never mind - it’s a lovely little reminder of all the Christmas fun to come, a genuinely-touching tale of the magic that can be wrought every December.

With Aled Jones indisposed, understudy Mark Dickinson stepped up admirably to form half of the celebrated double act, alongside Cooper, at the heart of it all - two former soldiers who find post-war glory in the musicals.

But they don’t forget where they came from, happy to put a little bit of sparkle back into the life of the army commander they adored.

Along the way, there are all sorts of squabbles on the love front, silly misunderstandings which are actually fairly thin and slightly tedious.

But in truth, the plot hardly matters; it’s just there to string together some great set pieces, beautiful dancing combining with a host of hits including Blue Skies, How Deep Is The Ocean, Happy Holiday, Sisters and, of course, that great title song White Christmas.

It’s all delivered with plenty of Christmas glitter - a great musical given a production it richly deserves.

Phil Hewitt