Everyman rock 'n' roll panto writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton are bringing a brand new comedy musical to Liverpool's St Lukes 'Bombed Out' Church this month.
The Show Must Go On! is a stripped-back production - starring five actors playing a huge list of different roles in a collection of wigs and costumes - without the fancy sets and special effects usually involved in their shows.
The family show stars panto regulars Adam Keast, Danny Burns and Steph Hockley as actors and a director whose over-the-top theatrical production has gone ahead to the next venue without them - so they are forced to perform with just the basics.
The writers came up with the idea after learning last year's Everyman panto would be cancelled.
Sarah said: "It hit us hard. The only way we kept going was to create this show really, to keep our sanity."
Mark added: "We missed the sound of the Everyman audience laughing and we thought if we can make people laugh in the Bombed Out Church, which is all about hope after dark days, it would just be incredible.
"People will have a really good giggle with actors they know from the panto.
"We had the idea of creating of something that didn't need a set, that you could really strip everything right down and concentrate on paying actors' wages.
"With covid regulations, as soon as somebody goes through a door someone's going to have to clean it so we thought 'let's not have any of it'. It's suitcase theatre without a suitcase."
The writers have been overwhelmed by the help and support they have received from other people in the industry, including the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse helping with funding. Friends who have moved from theatre to work in soap operas have even paid part of the actors' salaries and a Gofundme appeal also raised funds.
The production team also includes Lucy Thatcher as choreographer and Ben Beer as musical director.
Sarah said: "It's been such a strange year. Just to bring some positivity back is really important.
"There have been so many people coming forward and helping us, which has been really humbling."
Fans of the rock 'n' roll panto will be pleased to learn it will return to the Everyman this Christmas - with as much glitz and glitter as ever before.
Mark said: "We're going to come back and smash it as hard as we can, have an absolute riot and a massive party."
The Show Must Go On! opens on May 17 and will run for an initial two weeks with the potential for another three weeks of performances depending on demand.
Tickets, priced from £12.50, are available from Ticketquarter.