I HAVE seen many a Ghost (the stage version, of the 1990 film, that is) and this is by far the slickest, most beautifully balanced of them all.

Just what we all need in these cold, cynical times - a modern love story with real heart and soul.

And let's not forget ... hope.

The movie is famous for its all-encompassing, tragic romance - including an iconic seductive scene with a pottery wheel accompanied by the classic '60s ballad Unchained Melody.

That cinematic highlight is here but re-worked and re-tuned and happily refreshed in the process.

The arrangement for The Righteous Brothers standard and the interaction between the two lovers is another magical piece of directing by Bob Tomson.

As our hero - in both worlds- Sam strums on an acoustic guitar the song then seamlessly runs into a sweeping string version from the live musicians adding extra texture.

The timeless song appears throughout in various forms and always hitting the right note reflecting the mood of the characters.

It fits in nicely with Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard's accomplished score which features some outstanding numbers that may not be of the catchy variety but do have depth that you wouldn't find in many film-to-stage musicals.

The lyrics move the story forward and that is to the songwriting especially when you are working alongside creator Bruce Joel Rubin's Oscar-winning supernatural story.

We follow banker Sam and artist Molly who are moving blissfully into a Brooklyn apartment.

He has a work colleague called Carl played by the impressive Sergio Pasquariello. Smoothie Carl isn't what he seems.

Then tragedy strikes as Sam is murdered on his way home from a night out at a gallery with sweet Molly. But is it an inside job?

Sam, now a ghost in limbo, contacts a happy medium Oda Mae for some spiritual investigation work.

Jacqui Dubois is a joy to watch as the dubious psychic with her faultless comic timing.

There is also powerful drama as the backbone to the story of learning to let go in life no matter how devastating.

This is so often over-shadowed in previous productions. Here, in this two and a half hour version, it is a major contributor to the overall success of this re-boot.

There is also the hand of producer Bill Kenwright on display - apparent in his love of visually stunning backdrops - in this case New York.

And the consistently on the move set design by Mark Bailey takes the audience all over the big Apple from haunted tube station to a hospital, cemetery and office block.

Rebekah Lowings as Molly is so convincing as our heart-tugging heroine I wanted to run down to the the stage and give her a hug.

She has the perfect voice for this demanding role wringing out every emotion notably loss and despair on the show's strongest composition With You.

Niall Sheehy equally excels as good guy Sam who finds it hard to say those three words I Love You to his bright and breezy partner.

The word 'ditto' takes on much more significance for Sam.

Niall Is a versatile singer evident on his emotionally-charged Teach Me How and his contributions to the multi-vocal attack on the senses of Suspend My Disbelief which ends the first half and the second act's Life Turns on a Dime with Rebekah and Sergio.

There is also a welcome dance number to make the audience smile and celebrate life with I'm Outta Here from outrageous Oda.

The crisp and even pacing of tension and tenderness and the right ratio of light and shade make this an outstanding, reincarnated theatrical triumph.

A standing ovation and many unabashed tears sealed the affection people of all ages have for this ghost story for all seasons.

Heavenly - five stars

The production is on until Saturday (April 27).

Tickets from 0844 871 3017.