WHAT a powerful way to open the Everyman’s new season with a world premiere.

Cornwall-based innovators Kneehigh are always welcome guests here on Merseyside with their unique productions.

Kneehigh’s Tin Drum is on the opening run of a UK tour, a co-production with the Everyman and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Wirral Globe:

This is another creative success on every level.

Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director of the Everyman and Playhouse, calls it ‘Total Theatre.’ I totally agree.

Puppetry, mime, dance, special effects, diverse musical styles and physicality – the versatile cast give 100 per cent in every department.

Designer Naomi Dawson’s two-tier set looks very much at home on the Everyman stage.

Choreography from Etta Murfitt is also consistently spot on.

To raise joy and laughter within a bleak framework such as - Gunter Grass’s classic multi-layered work is quite an achievement.

It is not the easiest of books to adapt but this company, who devised the stunning Dog In A Suitcase (and Other Love Songs), stamp their own trademark vitality and imagination on an exhilarating and invigorating interpretation.

The two and half hour production is in very strong hands. The critically-acclaimed team of Carl Grose (adaptation) , Charles Hazlewood (music) and artistic director Mike Shepherd are in fine form presenting a story that would test even the best of storytellers.

When Oskar is three years old he decides to remain a child forever. Armed with a tin drum and a voice that can shatter glass he goes out into the world with a mind set of rage.

It is society torn apart with lost souls trying to find a reason amid the political mayhem.

Wirral Globe:

This post-war work is regarded as a surreal masterpiece. Here the characters feel as if they have all emerged from a circus.

The narrator - a grown up Oskar (Dom Coyote) – guides us through the maze of scenes.

Young Oskar (so to speak) is played by a magnificent puppet.

A formidable creation from designer and maker Lyndie Wright with its dark eyes and, at times, scaringly realistic body language.

Puppet master Sarah Wright deserves much praise for her dexterity. I am happy to say it is faultless work - with no strings attached.

The songs sweep across all the genres – at times it reminded me of Sparks and The Human League with a touch of Vaudeville.

That is the great tantalising appeal of Kneehigh they give the audience the key to a Pandora’s box of dramatic delights

The cast, including a first class on stage group of musicians, received a standing ovation.

I was hoping Oskar the puppet would have come back to take a bow.

Globe rating: Senses Shattering Drama, 4 Stars 

Until October 14, box office: 0151 709 4776