It’s panto season. Oh, yes it is! The rise in popularity of live festive entertainment continues in 2019 with a range of pantomimes taking centrestage across the UK.

In London – where else? – Dick Whittington has taken up residence in Hackney Empire. This modern retelling of Dick Whittington and His Cat, which is scheduled to run until January 5, begins its journey in Jamaica as our hero boards the Empire Windrush.

In Cardiff, meanwhile, it’s all about style as Gok Wan, aka The Fairy Gokmother, joins the cast of Cinderella at the Cardiff New Theatre until January 12. Audiences are promised jolly japery and jaw-dropping special effects . . . with opportunities to join in with the singing and dancing.

There’s dancing, too, for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Opera House Manchester until December 29.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood plays the Wicked Witch so there should be plenty of exciting dance-offs.

Fans of traditional panto can follow the adventures of Aladdin, Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey at Hull New Theatre until December 29. This version of Aladdin is strong on special effects in the form of flying carpets and genie in the lamp.

Or you can follow the yellow brick road to Leeds Playhouse where Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto will be discovering there’s no place like home right up until January 25 in a version of The Wizard of Oz.

Of course, you don’t have to be an actor or somewhere over the rainbow to enjoy working in the theatre. While not everyone is destined to tread the boards or be in the limelight, there are amazing job opportunities that offer a full flavour of theatrical life.

Theatre stage managers, for example, not only coordinate all aspects of production but liaise with the show’s director to manage rehearsal schedules and ensure the players are in the right place at the right time . . . hopefully wearing the right costume.

You’ll also work with imaginative light and sound technicians and oversee the installation and rapid, between-scenes changing of background scenery and props.

During shows you may find yourself prompting forgetful actors with their lines and giving the lighting and sound technicians helpful nods.

There is, of course, no chance of an audience not hearing the storyline properly when comedians such as the incomparable Joe Pasquale is playing Wishee Washee in Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre.

However, to make sure no line is ever lost, it’s the mission of sound engineers to control the aural environment at performances.

But before you get the cans on your ears and your fingers on the sound desk during shows, you’ll first have to gain an in-depth working knowledge of the latest sonic hardware and software.

And it’s not just about positioning microphones, checking their balance and carrying out soundchecks.

Personal communication skills are needed, too, as you’ll regularly meet with the director and actors, pinpointing places on the stage for optimal effect and points in the storyline where strange sound effects, mood music and quick changes in levels need to be set up.

It’s no surprise the ability to keep calm under pressure while following the plot and those cues from the stage manager is a must – even in the wacky and unpredictable world of panto, there’s no room for technical hiccups or second takes during a live performance.

Of course, for a show to be successful it has to attract ticket buyers and this is where PR and marketing professionals enter stage right.

Ace your audition with one of the vacancies on x1jobs and you could land a role in this niche sector. Here your script will be to attract potential theatregoers by steering marketing and advertising campaigns through newspapers, websites and social media platforms.

While the job titles on s1jobs vary from Marketing Officer to Account Executive, as a specialist selling a theatre show, you need to demonstrate the same self-belief, charisma and positivity that shines from the best actors on stage.