AS a general rule, musical theatre leaves you feeling happy and uplifted. Blood Brothers, however, is unlike any other musical and I left the theatre feeling emotionally drained.

You know from the outset that Willy Russell's tale of twins who are separated at birth will end in tragedy. But it doesn't make the moment any easier to bear when it comes – you could have heard a pin drop as the gun shots rang out around the theatre.

The songs are not particularly catchy, with the exception of the emotionally charged Tell Me It's Not True, and I did feel some of them were rather superfluous, particularly as the sound in the Pavilion is such that it was at times hard to hear the words over the live music.

There is lots of laughter as we first meet the young Mickey and Eddie, cleverly played as seven-year-olds by the adults who take the roles throughout the show (the brilliant Alexander Patmore and Joel Benefit). Knowing the fate that awaits them, this only makes the moment even more poignant, as we watch Mickey's life spiral out of control, watched by his long-suffering mother Mrs Johnstone, played superbly by Linzi Hateley.

Bill Kenwright's production has been affectionately christened the "Standing Ovation Musical", as it generally brings audiences to their feet, just as it did at the Pavilion on Tuesday evening.

It's not your average sparkly, showy musical, but Blood Brothers is one you won't want to miss. Absolutely brilliant.