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Most widely known for his award winning storylines and performances as John Paul McQueen in the Merseyside based drama Hollyoaks, James will take to the stage in Liverpool for the first time as the lead role in Ian Salmon’s adult drama Venus Rising.
Speaking of his decision to spend time on stage after a decade in television roles James explained, “I’m settled in Liverpool, love the city and everything that living here has given me; I want to take the opportunity to give something back, it’s my aim to be involved in challenging, interesting important work. There’s clearly a strong new theatrical scene developing in Liverpool, I want to throw myself into that and be part of building something here that can last and create opportunities for others.”
When asked why he wanted his adopted hometown stage debut to take place at the new venue he was equally enthused: “The Hope Street Theatre is perfectly placed to take risks, to put on work that you’re not seeing elsewhere in town and to develop new talents. It’s a spectacular building with the chance to produce spectacular theatre.”
Venus Rising tells the tale of another James, a man who only ever wanted to be a great author but instead became a massively popular writer of ‘adult’ literature in the post ‘Fifty Shades’ world.
He’s wildly successful, stupidly rich, thoroughly miserable, drinking too much and had driven his wife away. The one-act play asks one question: “Is it too late to write a happy ending.”
Venus Rising is from the pen of Ian Salmon, winner of the Highly Commended Award in the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize 2015 for his comedy The Comeback Special and, most recently, writer of Those Two Weeks which payed to sold out houses and five star reviews at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre in early March.
The production is directed by Julia Carstairs whose experience encompasses direction at Young Everyman Playhouse and the Scottish Arts Club’s Bright Spark Award at Edinburgh Fringe for her direction of Laurie Motherwell’s ‘Playback’.
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