Lyn Paul may have started her career off as a supporting child actress playing ball in front of the corner shop in the very first episode of Coronation Street, but she is most certainly the centre stage stalwart in Willy Russell's Blood Brothers.
The Winter Gardens Opera House played host to a diverse audience, with a noticeable sprinkling of students who were not necessarily bypassing BBC Bitesize, but seeking to go a peg better with the ultimate revision guide for GCSE English Lit.
So did you hear the story of the Johnstone twins ?
As like each other as two new pins.
Of one womb born, on the same self day,
How one was kept and one given away ?
Having first portrayed Mrs Johnstone in 1997, two decades on and it soon became clear that in this role Lyn Paul commands a presence that makes it unthinkable for the audience to envisage any other actress playing the character.
Not to diminish the work of the watertight ensemble cast, but despite Paul's hundreds of appearances as Mrs Johnstone - including a 2012 West End stint - she still delivers the entire spectrum of the production's dark and light with remarkable freshness.
Special mention, however, must go to Josh Capper, who stepped in on the matinee performance we witnessed on Saturday 9th April to play Blood Brother Mickey Johnstone in place of Sean Jones. His partnership with Joel Benedict as Blood Brother Edward Lyons magically captured the relationship of two boys separated at birth who are reunited. The differing nurtures having moulded their individual nature is compelling: Mickey a Jack the lad, Dennis the Menace and Ed more a Walter the Softy.
Tell me it's not true,
Though it's here before me,
Say it's just a dream,
Say it's just a scene,
From an old movie of years ago,
From an old movie of Marilyn Monroe.
Reserve a Room, Right this Way