IN these days of Covid restrictions it is a welcome surprise to be guided to your seat on the actual stage and become fully-immersed in an audio play production.

Under the mask is a powerful, poignant piece of drama - where you are invited to sit up and listen .... literally.

Wirral Globe:

Production shot from 'Under the mask'. Picture:  Geraint Lewis

In March 2020, hundreds of final year medical students finished their studies early and started work on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is one such story which conveys real life in a stunning way - in turn creating innovative theatre.

On her first day at work new qualified doctor Jaskaran (Aysha Kala) is deployed to her hospital's Covid Intensive Care Unit.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds.

Rows of intubated patients, the blisters of wearing full PPE for 12-hour shifts and the crying relatives saying goodbye via Skype.

Under the mask is writer Shaan Sahota's extraordinary debut directed by Sita Thomas and was recorded on location using sound gathered in real Covid wards, using fully immersive, 360-degree binaural sound.

In this inter-active production - in Liverpool as part of a UK tour - audiences on scattered seats listen through binaural headphones, whilst seated on stage, giving a doctor's perspective on the pandemic and putting us, the listeners, into their shoes uncovering a remarkable story of fortitude, hope and strength.

Wirral Globe:

Production shot from 'Under the mask'. Picture:  Geraint Lewis

It is a 55-minute audio installation with spot on minimal lighting and perfect sound that will prove a moving experience for theatre goers.

A truly different but rewarding connection between cast and audience, looking deeply and personally at a pandemic that had touched everyone of us.

The actors are in our heads while the dedicated people they play continue to fight Covid on a daily basis.

These are voices that have something to say and they say it in an unforgettable way.

Four stars

Timely, thought-provoking storytelling.

Under the mask is a joint production from Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse

It is on until Saturday

Tickets from