SATURDAY Night Fever returns in a dazzling, high-voltage, hugely entertaining new production.

Whilst paying homage to the 1977 film, this new stage version from producer and director Bill Kenwright offers much more punchy drama and classic music.

This is not a formulaic jukebox musical, but a show layered with sub-plots dealing with religious faith, parental responsibility, gang warfare and tough love on the streets of '70s Brooklyn.

Dance is seen as a liberating spirit down at the 2001 Odyssey disco where strong language and sharp humour spice up the dialogue.

Choreographer Bill Deamer, currently enjoying success with the UK Evita tour, pulls out all the stops getting the best out of his team of dynamic dancers.

It is a triumphant re-booting, delivered with fever pitch enthusiasm from a multi-talented large cast topped by a stellar performance from leading man Richard Winsor.

He plays swaggering, heart-throb Tony Manero, whose day job is in a paint shop and dancing king by night - a dance-floor peacock who would win Strictly Come Dancing hands down.

Richard, who played Caleb Knight in Casualty for three years and is one of Mathew Bourne's key dancers, is in nearly every scene over two and half hours.

He plays American-Italian Tony with less emphasis on cockiness and more on his sensitive side.

This is a different and welcome take on John Travolta's interpretation in the original critically-acclaimed film.

Richard is not only an impressive actor but he is a formidable dancer who excels on a simply beautiful soul-searching solo dance under a bridge.

Kate Parr plays leotard-wearing love interest career girl Stephanie Mangano who is, at first, stand-offish to Mareno's ambivalent charms but she soon displays her true colours.

The set features moveable staircases allowing scenes to swiftly change from workplace to the Mareno homestead, New York dockside and the mirrored disco club with its glitter balls and cool DJ.

And now to Bill Kenwright's three aces: The Bee Gees played by Edward Handoll, Alastair Hill and Matt Faull who sing most of the soundtrack songs from a stark balcony reminiscent of the famous Staying Alive pop video.

Their songs are timeless as illustrated in this inspired theatrical device: Night Fever, Too Much Heaven, How Deep is Your Love and others from the Gibb catalogue such as Jive Talking, Tragedy and the melancholy ballad Immortality.

Hearing those Bee Gee classics played live - aided by superb musicians - sets this stage version apart from previous adaptations which have been touring the UK since 1998.

There are also disco standards Disco Inferno and Boogie Shoes to lap up.

For many in the wide-aged group audience this is top notch nostalgia and for those who had only seen the film this is a vibrant 'new' introduction to the modern day love story.

The positive moral remains in tact: Stayin' Alive means following your dreams.

This uplifting production is going to be receiving standing (and dancing) ovations for decades to come.

Glittering - four stars

The show's Liverpool Empire run ends on Saturday.

Tickets from the box office on 0844 8713017.