THERE is currently something festive for everyone on the Merseyside theatre scene this month.

Pantos across the board, a fantasy film adaptation at the Playhouse, and some Christmas themed home-grown work on show elsewhere.

A new musical morality tale downstairs at the Royal Court Studio is one of the newer offerings - a charming show it is, too.

It is loosely based on A Christmas Carol and features the heroine of the title working at the Dickens department store in Liverpool.

There is emotional tension between career-chasing Carol Helen Carter) and her talented singer-songwriter daughter Holly (Molly Madigan).

This is a time for mum and daughter to reconnect.

The production written by Court favourite Helen in her debut and directed by Joe Shipman overcomes the restrictions of the downstairs studio space to recreate some atmospheric road a sequences.

Famous Christmas carols have been re-adapted with lyrics to suit the narrative.

And the seven strong all female cast offer harmonious voice work throughout.

Lovely melodies from Jessica Davies on piano and narrator Rachel Hilton on guitar.

There are confident performances from Angela Simms (Joy) and Paislie Reed (Eve).

It is a tale of redemption and deciding what is more important in life: Christmas presents in December or a Christmas presence all year round?

There's some strong cameos from accomplished actress Eithne Browne and an impressive song called Hold On composed and sung beautifully by Molly.

Merry Christmas Carol is a nice, upbeat idea that with some tweaks here and there could take its place in the city's creative calendar.

And it is a positive calling card from Helen Carter for future projects.

A modern Scouse fairy tale.

Four stars

Until December 29

0151 709 4321.