Joey is back.

The smash hit drama with its stirring music and faultless production values returns to a place that welcomes it with open arms.

Joey and his young master Albert Narracott are certainly made to feel at home on the vast Empire stage where this majestic piece of storytelling - displays masterful puppetry.

It is based on the moving 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo which has been adapted by Nick Stafford.

The National Theatre, with the Handspring Puppet Company deserve the award-winning plaudits for performing theatrical miracles in bringing the four- legged hero (and his equine soldiers) to life.

There are many visually impressive artistic achievements on show such as a massive armoured tank and - in lighter moments - a scene-stealing cheeky goose.

The teamwork is an absolute joy to watch as well as the back-screen projection and the consistently stunning sound and lighting.

This timeless anthem of peace is centered on the real life heroic horses who played their part in World War 1.

Liverpool itself has a strong history in this area which makes every visit here the more poignant.

On the opening night of a much-awaited three week run, the role of young Albert Norracott was performed with great skill and perfectly- pitched emotion by Danny Hendrix.

The audience took him, Joey and a large dedicated cast to their hearts.

From the moment Albert and Joey meet in rural Devon right through to the trenches of Flanders and a tear-inducing reunion and finale the audience is gripped.

Along the way the horrors of the Great War are conveyed with frightening authenticity.

Joey's struggle with barbed wire in No Man's Land left many of the audience reaching for the tissues.

This is just one highlight in a series of remarkable scenes in this classic piece of modern theatre.

There are many other diverse, compelling elements in this two-hour and 45 minute multi-layered drama.

There is joy and laughter, sadness and deep sorrow.

It is a story for all seasons and all ages.

It simply gets better with every tour - at home and abroad.

And it continues to break box office records in its 12th year seen by eight million people in eleven countries.

A standing ovation summed up this triumphant return.

If you haven't seen it before you are in for a heart-warming journey.

If you are a War Horse veteran - many of whom go back time and again - I can assure you the magic remains.

This latest production is another unforgettable, exhilarating experience.

Horse Power! Five stars

War Horse is on at the Liverpool Empire until Saturday, August 17.

Tickets are available online via

or by calling the box office on 08448 713017.