Hair is back - as visually vibrant and vivacious... as ever.

Fifty years on it certainly has the V Factor.

And one star of this hugely warm and entertaining touring show is a famous name from the X Factor - Liverpool's Marcus Collins.

Accomplished musician Marcus, from Crosby, is a real live-wire throughout this two and a half hour musical playing Hud a black hippie activist with attitude.

But this is an ensemble show with an abundance of talent as each character lets you in on their life through their catchy singing snapshots.

Bootle girl Kelly Sweeney as Crissy is one of the young tribe members who is 'away with the fairies.'

It's a great debut for Kelly who sings her plaintive love song called Frank Mills with real sparkle.

The show is packed with electrical energy and soothing sensual moments when the slower songs move the protest narrative along.

It centres on Claude (Paul Wilkins) in a 60s cosmic whodunnit. Will he or won't he ignore the draft call-up for Vietnam?

He battles his conscience.

Should he avoid the army and spend his life instead with a free- thinking, free-loving, tree-hugging, trip-smoking and anti-war commune?

Is the show dated?



Because it tackles issues that are so relevant in the present day.

Racism, sexuality, gender, war and peace. It's all here.

Choreography is breath-taking for the audience and the hard-working cast.

The spot on lighting highlights the rainbow-coated backdrop.

Imagine a huge multi- coloured snow globe- that best sums up a cracking set design.

It is also interspersed with humour in the storytelling.

It is surprisingly never preachy despite its hyper-emotional subject matter.

The tight, on-stage band, are cleverly placed in individual see through tents.

The hits remain timeless: The Age of Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In and I've Got Life.

Hair also features a full- frontal nude scene where more inhibitions.

are shed but here it is very tastefully done.

The encore leads the spirited cast members to spill out into the audience inviting them to come up on the actual stage. And there were plenty of takers.

It is more than a standing ovation.

People of all ages celebrating peace, love and understanding.

A feel good celebration of life itself.

Five stars - Intoxicating!

Hair at the Liverpool Empire on until Saturday, 25 May.

Tickets are available via the Empire Box Office on 0844 713 017 or via