THERE is a line in the theme song to the TV classic Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? that asks: 'Is the only thing to look forward to ... the past?'

The central character in Dave Kirby's sequel to his hit play with music Lost Soul would agree with that mantra.

In the 2007 and 2017 productions of this sit-com like drama, fans of Dave's home-grown work were introduced to two Scouse couples who were there for each other - for better or worse and everything else that happens in between.

Life has changed since we last visited their homely house and the Sunday night escapism of Smokie Mo's where a bevvy and a dance are the passports to chilling out.

There's the one-time Scottie Road stallion Smigger (Andrew Schofield) and his wife Donna (Lindzi Germain).

They are now grandparents while Terry and Pat have overcome their marital problems with a rekindled relationship.

The flip of the coin now sees how they are there with moral support for their pals.

Donna has changed. Smigger has stalled.

Their daughter Amy (Gemma Broderick) is now a mum and has a scally, drug-dealing boyfriend aptly called Charlie (Bobby Schofield).

Smigger still pines for the carefree Sundays away from the pressures of domestic life.

We see him never happier than in a flashback sequence to a Pontins soul weekend.

Andrew Schofield has spot-on comic timing as illustrated in some inspired drunken scenes.

His on-stage partnership with loud-but-loving Donna is as convincing as it was in the original.

We all know a Smigger and Donna.

The 'revolve' set from Jocelyn Meall allows Bob Eaton - returning in the director's chair - plenty of room to pace the story very well over two and a half hours.

And there's the sweet soul music to enjoy gloriously flowing out of the Royal Court speakers.

Timeless songs from the likes of Heatwave and Van McCoy bring the memories flooding back.

Writer Dave Kirby says the updated tale became semi-autobiographical along the way as Smigger has a mid-life crisis and bemoans the changes that sent the wrecking ball crashing into his world.

Soul searching takes on a whole new meaning.

Lenny Wood, a firm Royal Court favourite, is back as the gormless and dad-dancing barman with hidden John Travolta leanings.

Lost Soul was first created in 2001 and now it's equally funny and audience-friendly follow-up reaffirms Dave Kirby's gift for comedy and observation.

Now he, too, like Smigger is moving on displaying an equally strong serious side.

Like a good gin and tonic kicking in, Lost Soul 2 gets the mix of humour and pathos just right.

Four stars

Sunday Night Fever!

Lost Soul 2 is at the Royal Court Liverpool until July 6

Tickets from the box office on 0151 709 4321.