HARK! Herald the new writers.

Liverpool’s Royal Court has reason to celebrate – upstairs in the main house their five-star rated (Wirral Globe) panto Jack and The Beanstalk has been extended until January 24 and it has now become their best-ever box office hit.

Downstairs in their intimate Studio – they have supported new works with their inspirational Stage Write scheme.

It is a platform for new voices – so all power to that most welcome initiative.

Wirral Globe: Stocking FillersStocking Fillers (Image: Clara Mbirimi)

To mark this year’s output from local wordsmiths we have Stocking Fillers - a two-hour seasonal showcase featuring seven short plays each running at around ten minutes long - directed by Emma Bird and designed by Jen Baron.

All plays are acted out by established actors who flesh out the characters in style in this case the company includes: Paul Duckworth, Helen Carter, Sinead Renaye, and Joe Shipman.

For those who want something other than a panto or a musical for entertainment then this is an ideal alternative a promising mix of comedy and drama and each will hopefully leave its mark on the audience.

Wirral Globe: Stocking Fillers Stocking Fillers (Image: Clara Mbirimi)

There are seven tinsel-coated tales – and like a selection box, there will be a favourite in there.

The Court has decked out the venue with fairy lights and a Christmas tree and pulled out all the stops so their new writers can do some seasonal storytelling

So what’s in the stocking?

I won’t give away the plot as the twists and surprises are meant to make you smile and maybe cry depending on your mood or how many egg nogs you have had.

The diverse seven include: White Christmas Lies (Wallace Charles) a monologue split into three parts; Better Watch Out (Rachel Clark) the warning title says a lot; Santa on the Roof (Jacqui Dunne) or a night on the tiles; Midnight Mass Bouncer (EJ Fisher) where some unholy activity takes place; Derby Day Disaster – North Pole Edition (Rachel Hunter) is a red or blue footy Christmas on the cards? Shelter (Harvey Robinson) where mental health is an issue and there’s A Tipsy Christmas Fairy Tale (Liz Redwood) possibly some magical mayhem.

A pick-and-mix variety of short stories that might make you laugh out loud or on the other hand see elements of the festive period in a new light

I hope Stocking Fillers becomes an annual event – there are enough writers out there on Merseyside who deserve a break.

Hopefully, we will see the names in this review feature their plays on the main stage in the years ahead.


4 Stars