Bolton's Jim Cartwright

Bolton's Jim Cartwright

Jim Cartwright, multi award winning international playwright, screenwriter and director from Farnworth in Bolton will have his play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice brought to life on stage at the Albert Halls Bolton this January.

Jim grew up in Farnworth and attended Harper Green Secondary Modern School. Jim has since been made an Honorary Doctrate of the University Of Bolton, a visiting Professor at Salford University and Harper Green have named a building after him.

Jim’s plays have been in constant publication since 1986 and have been in almost continuous production around the world. They have been translated into over 40 languages and are on school, college, university and drama school curriculums.

Jim Cartwright’s plays have been performed at The National Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, The West End of London, on Broadway and are firm favourites for regional theatres and amateur companies to reproduce.

Road Jim Cartwright’s first play, opened at the Royal Court in 1986 and won the Samuel Beckett Award, Drama Magazine’s Best New Play Award, and was joint winner of the Plays And Players Award and The George Devine Award.

Eight Miles High Octagon Theatre 2005
Eight Miles High Octagon Theatre 2005

Two premiered at the Octagon Theatre in 1989, and transferring to The Young Vic, London in 1990, winning the Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award. Much later down the line Two 2 also premiered at the Octagon Theatre in 2016.

Cartwright’s plays are among the most performed in the Octagon’s history, including critically acclaimed productions of Road, Eight Miles High, Bed & Baths, and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which drew in sell-out audiences in 2012. In 2015, the Octagon premièred Cartwright’s The Ancient Secret of Youth and the Five Tibetans to rave reviews.

In response to the recent outcry that it is increasingly difficult for many to afford or gain entrance into the acting proffesion or even training, Jim has started a very succesful Drama Studio offering 'training for all' in Chorley and Manchester, The Cartwright Drama Studio.

The Ancient Secret of Youth and the Five Tibetans Octagon Theatre 2015
The Ancient Secret of Youth and the Five Tibetans Octagon Theatre 2015

The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice was performed first at the Royal National Theatre in 1992 and at The Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End later that year. The play was originally directed by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes and the role of Little Voice was played by Lancashire actress Jane Horrocks who Jim Cartwright originally wrote the part for.

The production was nominated for six Olivier Awards, was winner of The Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of the Year in 1992 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 1993.  It opened on Broadway in 1995. The Octagon Theatre production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in 1995 saw Coronation Street actor and playwright Deborah McAndrew in the role of LV.

Two 2 Octagon Theatre 2016
Two 2 Octagon Theatre 2016

In 1998 Jim’s play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was adapted into a screenplay to be filmed in Hollywood and directed by Mark Herman. The cast included Jane Horrocks from the original cast alongside Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn, Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent.

At the Octagon, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was most recently performed in 2012 with Katie Elin-Salt in the role of LV. 6 years later, whilst the Octagon Theatre building is under refurbishment, Octagon’s Associate Director Ben Occhipinti reprises the play with Katie Elin-Salt, Sally George, Sue Vincent, Akshay Gulati, Ted Robbins and  at the Albert Halls in Bolton.

In fear that her mother might blow a fuse, Little Voice escapes in her attic room through her father’s old vinyl collection – she loves the great divas: Bassey, Garland, Piaf, Springfield, Holliday. When the records stop playing the music miraculously continues, as LV produces stunning impersonations of all of her favourite stars.

When her mums new boyfriend hears Little Voice sing, he sees LV as his ticket to fame and fortune. Will LV face the music or set about finding her own voice?

See The Rise and Fall of Little Voice from Thu 24 Jan – Sat 2 Feb.