IT'S the compelling, heart-breaking, heart-warming and occasionally hilarious tale of life on the Lane.

Whether or not you were a fan of the brilliant 90s TV show on which this new play from the pen of the hugely talented original writer Kay Mellor is based, it's a must see.

I'd go as far as to say that this is the best play I've ever seen at Mayflower Theatre. Being so large, it's not a venue well known for hosting plays, but last night's first night audience were utterly spellbound during a terrific nearly two and a half hours.

The incredible Mellor has once again taken the leap from screen to stage with one of her most celebrated dramas, a thriller about the lives of sex workers on the streets of Bradford in the early 90s.

There's a killer on the loose and the streets are no longer safe.

The central four characters are completely believable and you become invested in them before you find out the fate of one of them.

Gaynor Faye puts in a bold and brassy turn as Rose, the matriarch of the Lane, and newcomer Emma Osman is perfectly cast as Carol, the mum with a back story struggling to make ends meet.

Laurie Brett has the chance to show off her superb vocals as tart with a heart Anita and Sacha Parkinson embodies desperation as newly separated young mum and loan shark fodder Gina.

Some of the male leads, particularly Kieron Richardson as the bitter and violent ex Steve, are almost underused in an exceptional cast.

Fans of the 90s TV series will be delighted to see a set of marigolds and the original theme music make a guest appearance.

But there is no need to like or even know the TV show, which shone a light on the reality of prostitution at a time when it was being glamourised by Pretty Woman.

The play certainly has a televisual style to it, but it has a different ending and, if my memory serves me correctly, a different killer.

Band of Gold is a genuinely gritty, star-studded masterclass in complex characters, sharp wit and thrilling drama.

It runs until Saturday.

Tickets: 023 8071 1811