WILLY Russell's Blood Brothers is the third Bill Kenwright touring production to grace the Floral Pavilion's 10th anniversary year since its refurbishment.

Sell-out runs of Evita and Cilla have already received standing ovations and Blood Brothers - here for just a week - is another classic musical to warrant such enthusiastic reactions.

Producers love bringing West End shows to Merseyside because audiences here are the some of the best in the country and touring companies know it.

Watching Blood Brothers on stage is like greeting an old friend.

Having seen its world premiere all those years ago in the 80s I can say with hand on my heart every production from then on still leaves me with a tear in my eye.

Even though I know what's coming – I can't help it.

The same happens every time I see that other masterpiece - the classic film It's a Wonderful Life.

This latest BB version directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright with Tim Whiting's superb musical direction stars Linzi Hateley as Mrs Johnstone and she makes her own mark on the much-coveted role.

Every Mrs J offers different nuances on the character and passionate actress and singer Linzi plays it with the perfect balance of edginess and sensitivity.

Playing the poverty-stricken mum who has to give one of her twins away demands a wide range of emotions.

Songs such as Easy terms and Tell Me It's Not True will always stir the emotions.

Narrator Robbie Scotcher also stamps his own formidable approach on the black-suited storyteller role. Robbie played a scorcher.

The twins Mickey (Sean Jones) and Eddie (Mark Hutchinson) are, again, outstanding.

Daniel Taylor is at his energetic, expressive best as loose cannon Sammy with the 'plate in his head', Sarah Jane Buckley as Mrs Lyons and Danielle Corlass as love interest Linda are exceptional talents.

Linda seems to visibly age as this ever-relevant story of class unfolds.

It is a scaled-down version of those touring productions that have recently graced the Empire stage, but here the intimacy is extra powerful.

On the way out one man said to his daughter 'now isn't that the best thing you have ever seen in the theatre?'

She nodded.

A standing ovation and four curtain calls added to that belief.

It's not the first time I have heard such praise and it certainly won’t be the last.

Blood Brothers is the ultimate musical for all seasons.

Globe verdict:

Timeless - five stars

Tickets are from the box office on 0151 666 0000