ALRA strikes pioneering in-house agency deal

Jim Cartwright, the playwright best known for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Jim Cartwright
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A talent agency launched by writer Jim Cartwright has formed a partnership with the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, in a move hailed as the first collaboration of its kind in the UK.

The tie-up will give Cartwright Higgins Management – founded last year by Cartwright and actor Tracy Higgins – a desk within ALRA’s offices, giving students access to castings and professional advice.

ALRA claimed it was the first “direct collaboration of a professional agency with an established drama school”. The school has campuses in both London and Wigan.

Students will have access to career guidance, help with contracts and can drop in to speak with the agency for advice.

ALRA principal Adrian Hall said: “I don’t know of anyone else offering this level of support and care for students entering this increasingly competitive business.”

The Stage understands that the partnership does not mean students automatically get a place on the agency’s books, but that the agency will sign up students where appropriate.

Cartwright, whose plays include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Road, formed the agency in June last year. It followed the launch of a drama studio in Chorley that he set up in response to concerns about the lack of working-class talent in the sector. The agency was created after Cartwright was approached by casting departments seeking performers.