Musicals; Marmite; marzipan - personally it's a hate-love-hate situation.

But, as with Marmite (formally hate), it's always possible for things to change. Today, somewhat to my horror, it's the closed-door policy on musicals that's under threat.

Spring Awakening, the Lyric Theatre's blockbuster transfer from New York, certainly had a preceding reputation.

Whispers reached our shores about the wildfire word-of-mouth success it had with teenage fans.

The Big Apple critics were not far behind and a final slew of Tony Awards sealed the deal. But could a British cast take up the mantle and break the mould here too?

In short, yes. Based on Frank Wedekind's scandalous 1891 play of teenage awakenings and adult oppressors, it is the theme which is key.

Set in a sexually oppressive Germany, Steven Sater's adaptation of the universal desire of self-discovery (and that of others) immediately draw the sympathy necessary to give such an unashamedly emotional journey a chance.

Sophisticated messages delivered by the precocious 14-year-old Melchior (Aneurin Barnard, actually 21) such as 'Shame is the product of education,'are quickly contrasted by raging pop-songs songs such as It's a Bitch of a Living and You're F******.

More School of Rock than the usual adults in spandex, the tongue-in-cheek humour invites us to laugh at the ridiculous consequences of not explaining the significance of surging sexual feelings to kids.

My personal favourite was the inadvertent sado-masochism scene, where female lead Wendla (Charlotte Wakefield) asks Melchior to whip her so she can empathise with the pain of a classmate who is beaten by her father.

Abuse and suicide - two of the heavier topics - still end up sounding a little too much like a Mr G production from Chris Lilley's hilarious TV mocumentary Summer Heights High, but explosive choreography, warm set - you can even buy seats in the stage wings - and fire-fly style lighting soothe the effect.

Not forgetting the spotless acting and voices of the soon-to-be-stars who make up the cast.

The sexual nature could make for mildly uncomfortable family moments, but at any age, it's worth the trip.

With children's awakenings Wedekind struck on the ultimate tool for revolution.

An inspiration for unmade thoughts and a healthy reminder for those now stale.

Spring Awakening, book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, is at the Lyric Theatre, Lyric Square, Hammersmith, until March 14. 7.30pm, Sat mats 2.30pm. £10-30. Call 08712 211 729. See