"Tell me it's not true - say it's just a story...''

Wonderful lyrics from a modern day classic song.

But those words are more than "just a story" - it's from one of the great musicals of our time.

Willy Russell's Blood Brothers is a tragic tale of twins separated by birth - one heart-wrenchingly and reluctantly given to a rich lady and brought up with the silver spoon treatment.

The other raised in an austere world of never-never back-catalogue payments.

The show is always welcome in its home town but it can work anywhere. It travels well. From the West End to Broadway, Japan to Australia - right across the globe.

A magnificent backdrop of the Mersey skyline is like a huge postcard to the world this time on designer Andy Walmsley's slick set.

Blood Brothers is a musical about class. It was and always will be universal.

I have seen it countless times in many cities all the way from the very first production.

Every performance still moves me - it's a soundtrack to my own life, like playing a favourite album or an old movie from years ago...

You see something new in every new nuance and theatrical tweak from directors Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright - both passionate about this work. Both still fans.

Mrs Johnstone has been played by many stars of stage, recording studio and screen and each have added their own stamp.

In this current touring production Lyn Paul again shows what a great voice and stage presence she has.

Her very real tear-stained finale on '"Tell Me It's Not True" was moving.

The twins, to quote a popular line from the play, were "smashing" in every way.

Sean Jones as street-wise Mickey and Joel Benedict as posh Eddie.

Danielle Corlass is an exceptional,versatile Linda.

Sarah Jane Buckley also squeezes every emotion from her character - Eddie's other "mum" Mrs Lyons during her breakdown.

Narrator Dean Chisnall has powerful stage qualities from the melancholy to the sinister - a dark angel in a suit whose songs are aided by some clever atmospheric echoes is in the sound department.

The songs including "Easy Terms," "Bright New Day" and "Marilyn Monroe" were written 34 years ago stand the test of time.

The humour is faultless striking the right note for those who have never seen it before and those who relish every version.

I could never tire of it.

Watching the audience lapping it up all over again with five curtain calls for the 14-strong cast and a soaring standing ovation too which was a very warm welcome, wonderful home-coming for an old friend.


Globe rating: Five stars. 

Box office: 0844 871 3017. 

Until September 30.