Globe arts critic Peter Grant meets a Wirral-based actor who is happy that Christmas has (finally) come early.

BRICK Up The Mersey Tunnel star Roy Brandon didn't think he would hear the word 'rehearsal' for a long while.

Covid-19 had put all theatrical performances on hold.

For many actors the lockdown meant all projects had to be postponed and, in some cases, cancelled.

He has, however, kept himself busy and focused on the future by taking part in on-line zoom auditions from his New Brighton home for various acting roles.

Roy, a former stand-up comedian, says he was thrilled to receive a call from The Royal Court who wanted to book his services for this year's Christmas production.

This week he is in rehearsals (pictured, below) for the Court's fun filled seasonal offering ... oh, yes he is.

Wirral Globe:

This year a cast of much-loved stalwarts are taking part in a show called The Royal Court's Selection Box - a cracking collection of songs, sketches and festive frippery all topped off with a panto.

Roy, who is originally from Dingle in Liverpool, will be joined by a premiership squad of versatile stars including: Andrew Schofield, Jake Abraham, Lindzi Germain, Eithne Browne, Keddy Sutton and Michael Starke as well as other familiar faces.

Wirral Globe:

Roy Brandon in rehearsal

The whole tinsel-coated concept is conceived and directed by Stephen Fletcher with musical director Howard Gray keeping the live music alive and kicking.

The individual and collective members of the cast are all also supplying new material.

Taking a break from the rehearsal room, Roy tells the Globe what audiences can expect from this laugh-out-loud, musical revue with a difference.

He said: "There are twelve of us in the cast and six will be appearing for one week alternating with the other six the next and so on.

"We are performing two shows a day.

"The first half will comprise sketches - one of which is our tribute to Laurel and Hardy in which I'm Stan and Michael Starke is Ollie from our 2013 stage show.

"Lindzi Germain will act as a sort of compere.

"Imagine the Cliff Richard films of the '60s where they say, 'let's put on a show in an empty theatre - well it's a bit like that.

"And each show features a scaled down panto.

"We know our audiences and they know us.

"Our aim is to take everyone's minds off Covid 19.

"There's no better place to be and have a good old laugh than the Court at Christmas."

Wirral Globe:

Poster for Royal Court Selection Box show

Roy stresses that Covid-19 safety and social guidelines are being adhered to.

All information is on the Royal Court website.

Roy says he has missed the roar of laughter as have all the cast and crew of the venue.

Being back on stage with fellow stage favourites has, he says, been a real tonic.

Roy, Eithne and Michael have a lot in common.

They have all appeared in Brookside and Coronation Street.

He adds: "The aim is for the cast to have a ball and make sure the audiences do, too.

"That is something of a trademark for the Royal Court which is known as the People's Theatre.

"We are all genuinely excited about the Selection Box - at last we can all have something to laugh about."

Royal Court's Selection Box is on from December 11 to January 30, 2021.

Ticket details and all other information from: