THIRTY years ago I reviewed Willy Russell's new musical Blood Brothers.

I knew then it was different.

After all, the playwright who had given the world John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert was an accomplished musician, too.

So a home-grown Liverpool folk opera was more than enticing.

I still believe it is one of the greatest stage musicals – its ongoing success across the world proves it.

Now, it wows audiences on its current 30th anniversary tour.

It will never date.

That first night three decades ago was the start of a theatrical love affair for me that shows no sign of fading, especially when I see the exceptional standard as always directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.

The stage set design by Andy Walmsley is very much at home on the intimate Storyhouse stage.

Wirral Globe:

Blood Brothers: Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone in a previous production

I have seen the musical in Liverpool theatres and London's West End. 

Yet I have never been as close to the stage as I was this time around.

It is eye-opening to see the expressions on the faces of the central characters who display the emotions of joy and sadness etc, etched on their faces and in their body language.

Every time I listen to Sgt Pepper I find something new and the same happens when I see a Blood Brothers show.

This is a tale of twins separated at birth only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a heart-wrenching secret.

When Mrs Johnstone is deserted by her husband she is devastated to find she is pregnant with twins.

In a moment of weakness and realising there will be more mouths to feed she is aware of financial problems ahead.

She agrees to a pact with her employer which leads to the show's stunning closure.

Superstition is a common theme throughout as is the clash of class.

And a dark-suited narrator - here played by the excellent Dean Chisnall - is a brilliant device to convey the bitter-sweet tale.

Magically, Willy Russell injects so much humour throughout.

The songs are as memorable as the dialogue.

The jaunty Brand New Day and the haunting Tell Me It's Not True illustrating the diverse range of the score.

Lyn Paul is simply superb as Mrs J - her acting and singing faultless.

She shed real tears at the end – as I (unashamedly) did yet again.

The twins Mickey (Sean Jones) and Edward (Mark Hutchinson) display incredible depth, so much so that you feel for them and care what happens from the absolute outset.

These two actors shine with their sensitivity. 

Full marks to Alison Crawford as Linda played with real sparkle and verve and Sarah Jane Buckley who pitched Mrs Lyons perfectly.

Daniel Taylor’s screw-loose Sammy is another stand out performance.

Musical director Kelvin Towse and, indeed the 14-strong cast, excelled themselves.

This production at the Storyhouse is outstanding.

Many people were watching Blood Brothers for the first time.

Many will be back again and again.

Blood Brothers continues to gain a whole new audience including many tearful men, women and children leaving the theatre after standing ovations and multi-encores, which sums up the universal appeal of this modern classic.

Timeless - five stars 

Blood Brothers is at Storyhouse until Saturday.

Tickets are from the box office on 0124 440 9113.