BRAVO Bill Kenwright, bravo Bill! Thank you for bringing together two of the brightest stars in the entertainment firmament performing today in this first offering from your Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company, Rain Man, writes Paul Thomas.

Bravo Mathew Horne and Ed Speleers for two of the greatest performances ever seen on the stage of the Theatre Royal Windsor, and after 30 years of reviewing at this chocolate box venue with a history all its own, I don't say that without provenance.

A standing ovation from a packed house and three curtain calls doesn't need any embellishment from me.

But that's just the result of what can only be described as one of the best nights out anyone can have.

If you want to laugh, if you want to cry, if you want to see every aspect of human emotion, it's here and it's delivered with such heart-wrenching fallibility you will go home believing that there's a chance for all of us to become who we really want to be, but are stopped by our own history.

Rain Man touches the heart in a way no other story can (barring Blood Brothers...strange that isn't it?).

It traces the story of wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt who is left nothing in his father's £3 million will, as the whole lot has gone to the autistic savant brother he never knew existed, Raymond.

Taking him away from the care home in which he lives, Charlie sets out on a road trip with his brother in a bid to wrangle half the cash out of him.

But it's a road trip that brings a transformation in both to the point that at times my Trudy was simply wiping away the tears, wrapped up in the sheer joy of what was happening between the siblings.

This wonderful adaptation of the classic Oscar-winning 80s movie starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman has it all...great music from the era adorns top-drawer acting, the likes of which will grace the West End after it luckily opened here at the Royal.

Horne's portrayal of the autistic savant, whose ability to remember anything he reads or sees is remarkable.

His constant control in what is an amazing portrayal of a disability is right up there with anything you will see on the stage anywhere, this year or any other.

The comic nuances are exquisitely borne out, the nods, the tantrums, the fears, but most of all the love for his brother shine.

Horne is, quite simply, electric, and with this role has, after his TV successes in Gavin and Stacy and The Catherine Tate Show, brought an understated grace to acting which should be admired for its complex simplicity.

Horne is proving to be one of the best home-grown talents of his generation.

And Speleers (Eragon, Downton Abbey) joins him in that ascendance into the cosmic equation.

Speleers subsumes his own part almost giving the story to Horne. But in doing so creates a platform for himself to shine.

This is truly the mark of a great actor. His ability to underpin the narrative while creating a character at first worthy of our derision then of our admiration is quite the most superb piece of stage craftsmanship I have seen for many a year.

As the money-grabbing father hater, his angst and selfish nastiness, even to his girlfriend are driven by revenge, creating a malevolent, almost sociopathic attitude to society.

Speleers fleshes out this beautifully buttressed butterfly role with such admiring candour that we can see how he becomes wonderfully wooed by his brother's brutally honest feeling of sheer love.

This is as good as it gets.

This isn't just a road trip, it's a journey into your soul.

Prepare to be given a lesson in humility, honour and love.

Above all, it shows how we can all change if we hear the simple words 'I love you'.

These actors are at the top of their game, of that there is no doubt.

The denouement is both crucifyingly touching but also relevant to the human condition prompting an immediate standing ovation that didn't stop for three curtain calls.

Horne and Speleers are dynamic.

Rain Man will make you laugh, cry and search your soul.

With an evocation of the 80s in hair, music and suits and with a superb supporting cast, this is the thing to see.

And, like Bill's former touring companies for Agatha Christie and Murder Mysteries which were long-overdue for a clamourring theatre-starved public, here's a theatre owner and impresario who puts his money where his mouth is.

With his Classic Screen to Stage concept one can only hope the likes of Moonstruck or Scent of a Woman (wouldn't the Pacino school hall impassioned take on humanity light up the stage?) may follow.

Bonkersly brilliant, Rain Man is electrifying.

Cool, crazy and colossal in scale, you'll go home wanting more and more.

Ditch the tellybox and take a road trip to the best theatre around.

Rain Man's Horne and Speleers reign at the Royal.

Rain Man, Theatre Royal Windsor, until, Saturday, September 1. Box office: 01753 853888 or