Have you heard the story of the Johnstone twins? asks the narrator in the unforgettable opening line of Blood Brothers (at The Broadway in Peterborough until Saturday).
Well, yes, a couple of times, but it is one show I never tire of watching.
It is a moving story, beautifully told, with dramatic lighting, stirring music, memorable songs, and plenty of drama to stir the emotions.
Not to mention the lump-in-the-throat, goosebump-inducing ending that takes it to another level - and as it did last night, gets the audience on its feet applauding.
Lyn Paul, of New Seekers fame in the 1970s, shines brightly once again as Mrs Johnstone, a down-on-her-luck cleaner with a houseful of kids and twins on the way - a situation she can’t see her way out of.
It is a role she is synonymous with and she holds nothing back. The songs are beautifully sung and the emotion in her face - and voice - in the final scenes particularly is incredible.
It is her last tour in the show and she is certainly going out with a bang.
Under duress - and in secret - Mrs Johnstone gives up one of the twin boys to her childless employer, triggering a tale of superstition, betrayal, the class system, childhood poverty, crime, unemployment, depression - making it as relevant today as it was when the great Willy Russell penned it in the 1980s.
Sean Jones excels as the Johnstone twin Mickey - from loveable seven-year-old (“I’m nearly eight”) to anti-depressant-addled ex-con - and has great foils in Mark Hutchinson - as Posh kid Eddie, who enjoys a privileged upbringing after being given to snooty Mrs Lyons - and Daniel Taylor, the slightly hyper Sammy, a scallywag leader of the gang, destined to become a wrong ‘un.
It is well drilled and tight as you might expect from a very experienced cast - the four main protagonists unchanged from when I last saw the show two years ago,
There is great support from the younger cast too.
You can see Blood Brothers at The Broadway until Saturday.
More at www.broadwaypeterborough.co.uk