NORTHEN Broadsides are back in Liverpool and like a visiting football team they always give audiences a great game of premiership theatre.

Before the play starts, the cast greet the audience on stage with an acoustic set of songs including Bring Me Sunshine to Dirty Old Town.

It's a cracking warm-up welcome from a very friendly company.

Dario Fo's 1974 Can’t Pay Won’t Pay satire, which he later updated is adapted, re-imagined and moved from Italy to Britain by the very talented and clever Deborah McAndrew who knows a thing or two about pacing – her interpretation of classics such as Cyrano and Hard Times provided also plenty of surprises.

Broadsides artistic director Conrad Nelson, who hails from Wirral, has put together a slick and very funny two-hour-20 minutes that grabs your attention in the first five minutes, only allowing you to catch your breath in the interval.

It starts with unemployed, highly-imaginative Anthea living in a high-rise (Lisa Howard), who is deep in debt and at the end of her tether.

She makes the most of a riot at the local supermarket where prices have rocketed and goes off her trolley, looting food for herself and her roped-in best mate Maggie (Suzanne Ahmet).

There is a problem with this apparently widespread bout of shop-lifting: how do they tell their factory working hubbies?

Anthea's stern socialist Jack (Steve Hulson) and Maggie's naive Lewis (Matt Connor).

And there's a matter of the police.

Anything anyone says is taken down and suitably mis-interpreted.

Birkenhead-born Michael Hugo plays five roles: including a right-wing sergeant with a suspect moustache who looks rather similar to a left wing politically correct PC, so to speak.

The action, like the script, covers life today as we know it in bogged down Brexit Britain.

The five-strong cast work non-stop with some improv work going on notably from versatile Michael Hugo, who has previously charmed audiences with the sparkling Around The World in 80 Days.

This is highly-enjoyable, informative, structured mayhem where the fourth wall is broken with on- going sharp pieces of comic timing and biting – never preachy - dialogue.

Any theatre production that manages to get laughter from Brexit deserves our support.

The physicality on show here in this UK touring co-production with York theatre Royal - is top notch.

Broadsides should invite chancellor Philip Hammond to a performance – now that austerity has gone from his portfolio ... a point not lost on the ever brilliant Broadsides.

In fact, politicians from all parties should see it.

A poignant flashback to the Jarrow March sums up the power of this political farce – it makes you laugh out loud, reflect on our society’s failings and feel very angry at the same time.

Globe verdict:

Terrifically topical, raucous and relevant - four stars

The production ends its run at the Liverpool Playhouse until Saturday.

Tickets from the box office on 0151 709 4776