IT'S encouraging to hear from new writers with fresh voices.

The latest wordsmith to emerge from the Royal Court's Stage Wright programme has created something quite out of the ordinary - Offered Up - a thriller set in the English Civil War of 1645.

It's a brave move for all concerned from the commissioners to the cast and crew producing an historic drama playing in the 150-seater venue on an 18-day run.

A very effective stage set by Alfie Heywood of an inn outside olde Chester and a first rate collection of period costumes and props all contribute to the setting for a dark mystery.

Wirral Globe:

Some early raging war sound effcets of musket fire could be a little louder to show the severty of the fighting outside the tavern - maybe some of that horrible gun smoke, too, could add to the atmosphere.

But that is a technical suggestion (along with dimming the lights a wee bit) - everything else in this two act-drama (first-half 45 minutes, second 30 minutes) succeeds on many levels.

Director Paul Goetzee allows his four-strong cast to flesh out the intriguing characters.

Wirral Globe:

There are some powerful fight scenes amid the fiery language and the consistently claustrophobic intensity and there are graphic references to sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Helen Carter is a feisty highway woman of sorts called Jennet who turns up at the hostelry having been injured. It is an assured performance from the moiment we see her.

At the tavern she is met by an affable enough landlord - the widower Willmas played by Ben Tiramani and Katy Metheringham his sensitive daughter Rosamund.

Enter a visiting - rather suspect reverend priest called Thomas played confidently by Harvey Robinson. There's a lot to doubt about Thomas.

It is a refreshingly, compelling production and one of those plays that would sit well in the outdoor performance places of Bikenhead Priory and Speke Hall.

Wirral Globe:

This piece of inspired storytelling would certainly appeal to school parties bringing history alive in the process.

Writer Joe Matthew-Morris is another name to look out for.

Offered Up is an accomplished offering and an impressive creative calling-card.

Globe verdict: Offered Up - Four stars

Daringly Different

The production is on until July 9

Tickets from the box office on 0151 709 4321