The Royal Court continues its admirable support for new writing (and acting) with their first major in-house play taking to the stage of the basement studio.

It is a tribute to the draw of the popular 1980s club and those characters who frequented it.

It is a timely production as LGBT on Liverpool arrives this weekend.

This emotion-soaked story of sexual acceptance and denial is performed by a cast of six combining famous names with new stars in the making.

Writer Laura Lees is also a familiar face for those attending the 'People's Theatre' as she works in the box office.

Masquerade is a layered love story conveyed with real conviction.

It starts very well but the pace drops after an impressive opening.

Mike (Jamie Peacock - making his Court debut) is entranced by the club and eventually he becomes a resident DJ alternating with his job in a Wirral cinema.

The Masquerade is where he feels free along with his live-wire work mate Tony, played with real sparkle by Adam McCoy.

Their friendship is captured in a simple yet effective photo booth scene - one which is nicely reprised in the second half.

Mark finds it hard to mask the fact that he is gay from his parents.

At the Masquerade in 1986 he can escape.

He falls for the charismatic Stuart (Daniel Whitehead) and this allows for some soul-searching

The stark set features a turntable unit and a basic drinks bar.

It adequately recreates the interior of the club with a wall splattered with magazine poster images of 80s icons.

A lit mirror ball would certainly help towards recreating more of the atmosphere of the icinic nightclub.

Two stars from the smash hit Brick Up The Mersey Tunnel franchise flesh out the under-developed roles of manager Frank (Roy Brandon) and female bar fly Norma (Eithne Browne).

Eithne should ge given more to do as the feisty and funny Norma.

That said, the odd couple's curious relationship provides much of the play's humour.

The emotion-soaked second half sees the spectre of aids in the headlines.

Julie Glover - last seen in the main house play My Fairfield Lady - gives another measured performance here playing ailing Tony's mother.

This two-act play certainly has great promise and much potential.

And the Royal Court Studio proves again that it is an ideal venue to promote new voices and fresh work.

Heart-felt - three stars!

On until August 10, tickets are available by calling the Royal Court box office on 0151 709 4321.