Weymouth Pavilion

WHEN a major national touring production comes to Weymouth for a week, you know that the Pavilion has really arrived, so congratulations and full marks to those who have achieved so much for the town’s theatre in the past few years.

Willy Russell’s top-ranking musical tear jerker about class and social deprivation in post war Liverpool still attracts full houses world wide and with a starry cast and first rate production team, this tour is just about as good as it gets.

Leading the cast is Lyn Paul, voted the show’s favourite in the role of the mother of the twins who are separated at birth. A former New Seekers vocalist of the 1970s, Lyn’s voice is as powerful and rich as ever, reducing the audience to an emotional heap of tears in her moving portrayal as the tragic guilt ridden mother.

The production makes the most of the lively first half of the show when the twins are children and the large cast clearly have a great time behaving badly and clowning around as young Liverpool louts, led by Sean Jones and Mark Hutchinson as the two boys who become best friends without knowing that they are twin brothers.

As they grow up, love enters the scene and blonde babe Alison Crawford is the perfect girl for the part while Dean Chisnall is in fine voice as the ever-present onstage narrator.

A live orchestra, memorable songs like Tell Me It's Not True and Marilyn Monroe together with a fast moving plot and complex set make this an unforgettable and unmissable thoroughly professional show.

The production continues for the rest of the week, and if you miss it in Weymouth, it returns to Dorset in February when it comes to the Lighthouse at Poole.