Playwright Nicky Allt’s new play is just six weeks away from its world premiere at the Empire theatre and with it comes a blend of new and established Liverpool talent.

Speaking about the cast in One Night In Istanbul, Allt said: “We’ve signed a lot of young Liverpool talent and I’m raring to get the show started.”

The cast includes John McArdle as Liverpool FC supporter Gerry, who makes a return to Liverpool for the first time in many years. McArdle is best known as Billy Corkhill in Brookside before starring in roles in the Bill and BBC’s popular Mersey Beat series.

Liverpool-born comedian John Bishop makes his stage debut as Gerry’s Liverpool supporting friend Tom, having appeared in E4’s Skins, and performed on Radio 4’s Happy Families. His stand-up performances have included several seasons at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, London’s West End, the Kilkenny Comedy Festival and Vicar Street in Dublin.

Wirral actress Ann Marie Davies will complete the leading trio of roles. Davies, who starred in Brookside and Sky One series Is Harry on the Boat as well as numerous stage plays, will play a Turkish woman named Adelet.

Steven Fletcher also stars in One Night in Istanbul as Gerry’s son Joseph and James Spofforth (Stags and Hens) as Tom’s son Jamie. Fletcher returns to acting after establishing himself as a soul, swing and rock singer, performing in venues across the UK.

Darren Farley, who has become a YouTube phenomenon with his impressions of LFC stars, has been cast as the Reporter and Cop.

One Night In Istanbul, is set on that historic night in 2005 when Liverpool Football Club won the Champions League European Cup.

Tom and Gerry, based on two known supporters to LFC’s travelling fraternity, head to Istanbul to see their beloved Liverpool take on Italian champions AC Milan.

In order to pay for their trip, Tom and Gerry have to find the Grand Bazaar to sell Adolf Hitler’s cufflinks, which they had taken from a museum in Munich years previously.

As circumstances unravel in this football fairytale - leading to a case of mistaken identity over some stolen cash - the audience can expect, like that famous May night, some surprises thrown in for good measure.

One Night In Istanbul is a co-production between the Liverpool Empire and Bang On Top Productions, which is a company Allt set-up with Frank Bentley and Emile Coleman, who appeared in the BBC reality TV show Million Dollar Traders.

The show runs from 9-18 July this year.

*Photograph taken by Dave Evans