GOLDEN prospects lay ahead following the success of the Everyman Company's first season.

Fiddler on the Roof, last year's opener, was going to be a hard act to follow but the Hope Street creatives love a challenge.

I look forward to A Clockwork Orange, Othello and the Peer Gynt-inspired The Big I Am – the rest of the season.

For now, Paint Your Wagon kicks off 2018 – and has all the Everyman trademarks on show.

I once saw an adaptation of Shane – the classic Western and wondered where the Everyman would keep the horses.

The same here but no need to worry as actor Marc Elliott (who plays Mexican Julio) told me: "there's no mules, wagons and no painting."

But there's energy and enthusiasm in abundance for the two-hour-45 minute, in–the-round production.

This stage version is a team effort created by the equivalent of the Liverpool FC Boot Room kicking around ideas.

It is directed by Gemma Bodinetz alongside musical director and orchestrator George Francis and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves.

It takes place on a minimalist stage with props including a rocking chair, crates and a tin bath concealed under a trap door.

The famous song Wan'dring Star, one of the numbers from the Lerner and Loewe score, arrives early in the first 90 minute half.

It is delivered in a jaunty manner by Patrick Brennan as opposed to Lee Marvin's gravelly, melancholy interpretation in the 1969 film.

The song is reprised later with sparkling harmonies and lanterns are used to signify hope and wanderlust.

And talking of stars the six-piece band (wagon) high up on stage captures the Western music perfectly.

A lot is left to our imaginations as we are transported back to the gold rush of 1850s California where we meet star-crossed lovers from different cultures, gold diggers galore, a creepy Mormon family and the female Fandango troupe.

The latter is quite an achievement when you realise the versatile Company consists of eight men and six women.

Everyman actors are always expected to roll up their sleeves.

It is an ensemble piece so I won't pick out anyone for a sheriff’s badge.

Suffice to say, every one in this Everyman fun production gives a 24 carat performance, ya all.


FOUR STARS Until July 14 0151 709 4776