The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

by Jim Cartwright

Showing 6 June - 1 November

The Writer

Jim Cartwright

Jim Cartwright


Jim Cartwright is an international award-winning dramatist, screenwriter and director.

His plays are consistently in production and have been translated into over 40 languages and performed in most major theatres of the world, including London’s West End, the Royal Court, the National Theatre and Broadway.

His first play, Road, opened at the Royal Court in 1986, and was subsequently revived that same year and again in 1987, before being taken on a nationwide tour. Road won the Samuel Beckett Award, Drama Magazine’s Best New Play Award, The Plays And Players Award and The George Devine Award. In 1988, Road was produced by The Lincoln Centre, New York. Road is now considered a modern classic.

Other works include: Bed (National Theatre, 1989); Two (Octagon Theatre, 1989, the Young Vic, London, 1990, winner of The Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award); Eight Miles High (Octagon Theatre, Bolton 1991, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1994 and revived there again in 1995, nominated for the TMA best musical award.

In 1997 a production of the play at the Reykjavik City Theatre, Iceland, ran for a year, breaking Box Office records) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (National Theatre, 1992, and at The Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End, later that year.) The production was nominated for six Olivier Awards, winning four and was winner of The Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy in 1992 and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 1993. It opened on Broadway 1995. The award-winning film Little Voice was adapted from the play.

Jim made his directorial debut with Road at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, in 1995.
He also wrote and directed I Licked a Slag’s Deodorant for the Royal Court at The Ambassador’s Theatre in London’s West End (1996); Prize Night for the Royal Exchange (1999), and Hard Fruit for the Royal Court (2000); A Christmas Fair (Milton Rooms, 2012); Mobile Phone Show (National Theatre, 2013); The Ancient Secret of Youth and The Five Tibetans (Octagon Theatre, starring Denise Welch, 2015, and chosen as one of The Guardian’s top ten plays of the year 2015); Two 2 (Octagon Theatre, 2016); Raz (Edinburgh Fringe First Winner 2015, also Trafalgar Studios, London, 2016 and nationwide tour); Stand Up Stand Up (Nationwide tour 2017).

Jim’s radio work includes: Baths (BBC, 1987) and Sung starring Jane Horrocks (BBC 2015).

His television work includes: Road (BBC, 1987, winner of The Golden Nymph Award for best film); Vroom (Channel 4, 1988, selected as centrepiece at The London Film Festival); Wedded (BBC, 1990); and June (BBC, 1990). Jim produced and wrote Village (Channel 4, 1996), two films Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise (BBC, 2001) both directed by Danny Boyle, and Johnny Shakespeare (BBC 2008), written and directed by Jim and winner of two Royal Television Society Awards. Most recently he wrote and directed King of the Teds, for SKY television, starring Brenda
Blethyn, Alison Steadman and Sir Tom Jones.

He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bolton University, and his old school Harper Green have named a building in his honour as have Bury College with The Jim Cartwright Theatre. He has recently been appointed Honorary Artistic Director of The New Adelphi Theatre in Salford.

Jim’s plays are published in England by Methuen and have been constantly in print since 1986. Many of his works are set texts for A Level and University courses.