Hollyoaks’ James Sutton stars in Venus Rising at The Hope Street Theatre

Hollyoaks star, James Sutton, takes to the stage in his adopted home town for the first time, in Venus Rising at The Hope Street Theatre. 

His character, James Wilkinson, wanted to write the great American novel. Being British wasn’t going to stop him. He wanted to write the important stories, the life changing stories. And then one night he made a terrible mistake and went for a pint with a friend.

And this friend made him a bet. He bet James that he could make money writing for “the Fifty Shades crowd”.  And he could. He could make a lot of money writing that corner of the bookshop that came to be called mummy porn. So now James is wildly successful, stupidly rich and thoroughly miserable. He’s drinking too much, he’s driven his wife away and we’re going to spend tonight finding out whether he can write himself a happy ending.

The Hope Street Theatre

Venus Rising is an extremely dark, ever so slightly adult, long night of the soul for one man whose creativity is driving him to the edge. His past, present and fiction are colliding and he’s looking for a way out.

The play is written by Ian Salmon, the author of the much praised Those Two Weeks (which received five-star reviews for its run at The Unity Theatre in March: “It’s impossible not to be impressed by the extraordinarily well observed dialogue; there’s an almost musical flow to the writing” said Nigel Smith in Good News Liverpool) and The Comeback Special (Highly Commended Award in the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize 2015).

James is played by James Sutton (Hollyoaks/Emmerdale) who, after ten years in continuing TV drama, is taking to the stage in his adopted hometown for the first time, playing a role that breaks the borders between the real world and the contents of one unhappy writer’s head. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, James said, “It’s basically a monologue but so dark and brilliantly written. He’s a borderline alcoholic, a narcissist who hates his life and hates what he’s become. It’s dark, it’s quite naughty, it’s exciting and I can’t wait to get going.”

Abigail McKenzie

James is supported in the role by Laura Connolly, Abigail McKenzie and Thomas Galashan playing both his memories and his very dark, very disturbed fantasies. 

Thomas Galashan

The show will take place as the first major production to be staged in the magnificent surroundings of The Hope Street Theatre. Built in the heart of the famous street’s historic Masonic Hall, the newest addition to Liverpool’s theatre world opens with a mission statement of presenting new, fresh, stimulating, challenging work from the creators who will form the future of Liverpool theatre.

Laura Connolly

The Wednesday 6th performance will see the launch of a ‘pay what you think’ night; a model that the theatre is passionate about developing in order to encourage Liverpool audiences to experiment with new and/or little known work.

With adult themes, scenes of a sexual nature and strong language, Venus Rising will not be for the faint of heart but for anybody who has ever found themselves trapped in a life that they didn’t expect there will be a great deal to identify with.

Surely it’s never too late to write a happy ending?

Venus Rising will play at The Hope Street Theatre Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th June at 7:30pm running for 75 minutes in one act.

Tickets range from £9.25 to £13.00 and are available from ticketquarter.co.uk

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