I CAN exclusively reveal that Father Christmas is a football fan.
He also gives us more than a hint of where his loyalties lie - a brave move when you consider how close the theatre is to their deadly rivals.
Of course none of this matters, as The Lowry invites you to leave your troubles at the door and immerse yourself in this fabulously funny, deeply engaging piece of seasonal escapism. It takes big kids like me back to the time when it was possible to see the world with wide-eyed wonder, rather than more cynical, adult eyes.
Its the uplifting story of Barney, who has been raised by elves after inadvertently crawling into Santa's toy sack. When he discovers he's human after all he embarks on an epic journey to find his dad, a hard boiled corporate type working in New York. As you can imagine its a real culture shock for poor old Buddy, and a even bigger one for the dad he'd long ago lost touch with, Walter.
If Ben Forester (Buddy) is thinking about a career in the movies he certainly has the charisma and the comedy timing to make it to the top. There's little to choose between him and Will Ferrell, who played the part on the big screen. He is so likeable you'll want to take him home with you.
Likewise, Joe Mc Gann is very good value as Walter and Louis Emerick a revelation as Santa and Walter's no nonsense boss, Mr Greenway. Until now he'd always been the luckless Mick from Brookside. Not anymore.
With a score that ticks all the musical boxes and some stunning and spectacular dance routines, The Lowry has a massive festive hit on its hands. Book quickly - for as soon as word gets out as to how good this is, tickets will go like hot mince pies. Magical, magnificent, unmissable.
* Until January 14. The box office is on 0843 208 6000. Star rating - *****