MAGGIE May the Musical is, by far, the most creatively satisfying of all the recent Liverpool-inspired theatre productions.

Accomplished writer and director Bob Eaton provides the heart and soul alongside a pre and post World War 1 historical backdrop.

A cast of 11 - a real diverse team - play instruments live on stage.

It's an inspired theatrical genre pioneered by Bob when he wrote and directed Lennon at the Everyman in 1981.

The Pogues gave us a Fairytale of New York, now Bob gives us a Fairytale of Liverpool - a refreshing musical crammed with songs surrounding the fate of the infamous female folklore character.

It reminds me of one of Bob's previous winners - the street-wise musical Brown Bitter Wet Nellies and Scouse by the legendary Brian Jacques.

Bob instinctively knows what Merseyside audiences like.

West End star Christina Tedders is marvellous as Maggie May.

She has such strong stage presence the moment she appears.

Her voice is ideally suited to the mix of arrangements.

She conveys optimism and disappointment as dreamer Maggie leaves Dublin for a new life in America.

Like many who left the Emerald Isle she ends up stranded in Liverpool en route.

Once in the tough city she is robbed of her possessions, but not her spirit.

She is befriended by wide-boy Charlie who turns out to be a good lad.

Court stalwart Michael Fletcher plays him with the right amount of light and shade.

Maggie prays to saints for help when bad luck looms.

They are called upon even more as she suffers ill-fortune when she is seduced by her caddish employer James Campbell, played by the multi-talented Tom Connor.

Tom always displays great timing and this shines again notably in one unexpected comic scene.

We all want vulnerable Maggie to achieve her goal but, as the famous astrologer Patric Walker once advised John Lennon, "life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

Maggie, at least, finds friends in the form of the good time girls of Liverpool.

And she also becomes feisty without losing her charming Irish personality.

Bob and his writing partner Sayan Kent (composer and orchestrations) have created a packed, wide range of songs in so many different and appealing styles.

The first half bursts with energy and is a hard act to follow.

After the interval the pace dips a bit and lacks some of the early edge.

Humour is happily weaved throughout the two and half hour production.

There is also a fine Royal Court debut from EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison as housekeeper Mrs Bird and Cast Iron Kate.

Designer Foxton has come up trumps with a wonderful revolving stage set which moves the story along nicely complete with two Liver Birds looking down on the city.

Maggie May the Musical will surprise and delight audiences of all ages who will be ‘made up’ with this affectionate, song-packed show.

Globe Verdict:

A heart-breaking, heart-warming, home-grown hit.

Four stars

The production is on until November 10.

Tickets are from the box office on 0151 709 4321.