COMPOSER/ ARRANGER/ MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Upcoming credits include: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Shakespeare’s Globe) and MR GUM AND THE DANCING BEAR (National Theatre)
Theatre credits include: MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN (Royal Exchange, Manchester); PERICLES (National Theatre); A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE BIG I AM, ROMEO AND JULIET, THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE (both Liverpool Everyman); MY BRILLIANT FRIEND (Rose Theatre, Kingston); TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (Shakespeare’s Globe & UK Tour); BOYS WILL BE BOYS (Headlong & Bush Theatre); THE ROLLING STONE (Orange Tree Theatre); THE ODYSSEY (ETT & Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse & UK tour); SHIBBOLETH (Abbey Theatre, Dublin); THE ROLLING STONE (Manchester Royal Exchange & WYP); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse); TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ROYAL COURT, (Royal Court); POSH (Royal Court & West End); THE BEAUTIFUL COSMOS OF IVOR CUTLER (Vanishing Point and National Theatre of Scotland Sottish tour & Brighton Festival); DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK; SECRET THEATRE SHOW 1 (Lyric Hammersmith); OUR BIG LAND (Romany Theatre Company); COFFEE (Pleasance, Edinburgh).
James is currently working on the boxing musical JOURNEYMAN and developing LORD OF THE DARTS, the second piece in his sporting musical trilogy.
Awards: Best Music and Sound Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) for THE BEAUTIFUL COSMOS OF IVOR CUTLER (Vanishing Point and National Theatre of Scotland).
For Radio: CARMEN by Dan Allum.
TV includes: OBJECTS OF DESIRE (Sky Arts).
As a singer and flautist he has worked with, amongst others, Tom Jones, Barry Adamson, Kate Nash and Blondie.
James is a founder member of, and arranger for, award-winning vocal harmony band The Magnets. They have appeared on The Review Show, Comic Relief, Parkinson, GMTV, BBC Proms in the Park and Blue Peter as well as sessions for Radio 1 and 2.
Pericles Goes Down a Storm ★★★★★
‘The National's vast Olivier stage has never seen anything quite like it before.’ - The Independent
The National Theatre’s first ever Public Acts production has gone down an absolute storm with critics and audiences alike.
'Inclusive, empowering, revitalising, celebratory, multicultural, multilingual and downright fun. This three-night community theatre smash-and-grab might just have changed the National Theatre for good.'
'There were moments that brought to mind the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics; people coming together, en masse, to create something more than the sum of its parts. The director, Emily Lim, deserves a medal for corralling 233 performers (a record for the Olivier stage) into a roiling, broiling show that thrummed with life. Whenever the whole cast entered the stage as one, it felt like a coup. This is our stage, it said.'
'A giddy celebration of humanity and our endless capacity for warmth, togetherness and love.'
'Emily Lim has corralled the chorus brilliantly but she hasn’t polished the life out of them. Nervous smiles flash towards the audience and Shakespeare’s play feels so much more authentic and touching for it.'
'Jim Fortune’s original score is catchy, confident and eclectic, with Latin pop, folk and Bollywood influences as well as soaring romantic ballads. His music is complemented by cameo appearances from a range of London-based groups, whose performances are brilliantly varied and deeply soulful. No more so than when Pericles bids farewell to his daughter with a mournful lullaby, and a soloist from the London Bulgarian Choir lets rip with a haunting lament.'
‘It's a solid five-star show that transforms its challenges into opportunities (as all those management development courses insist upon) and delivers an unforgettable theatrical experience for everyone involved on either side of the fourth wall.'
'Extraordinary theatre indeed!'
‘Joyous, lively and community-focused’
‘The resulting production, which opened last night for three performances, teems with vibrant, diverse and witty life, qualities that Pericles is well-suited to display’
‘It’s the richest possible patchwork of styles, cultural influences and theatrical methods.’
'An epic undertaking, Pericles is the first born child of Public Acts, a nationwide initiative that seeks to create ambitious works of participatory theatre. And ambitious certainly is the word. The production features a cast of 120 Londoners from different backgrounds, additional performances from a variety of groups such as cheerleaders, a gospel choir and dance troupes. To say there is nothing like it in the West End is an understatement.'
James Fortune is Composer on THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE at Liverpool Everyman
Manfred Karge’s 1984 play is directed by Nick Bagnall and plays in Liverpool until the 8th of April.
The Guardian ★★★★
“it is impossible not to be moved by these dreamers’ determination and their moment of triumph.”
“a playful revival”
The Stage ★★★★
The Reviews Hub ★★★★
“entertaining, emotive and capturing the imagination of its audience with play and storytelling.”
James Fortune and Joshua Pharo open THE ROLLING STONE at Orange Tree Theatre
Chris Urch’s play, winner of a Bruntwood Prize in 2013, premiered at the Royal Exchange in Manchester last year and now plays at the Orange Tree until the 20th of February with James Fortune as Musical Director and Joshua Pharo as Lighting Designer.
The Guardian ★★★★
“Urch’s compelling play could hardly be more timely."
What’s On Stage ★★★★
“a remarkable and deeply troubling production”
Evening Standard ★★★★
The Londonist ★★★★★
“a production so atmospheric that you forget there is no set and few props. You forget, in fact, that you’re in Richmond at all.”
The Stage ★★★★
“there are moments – a dance, a look, an embrace and the most terrible, preternatural scream – that I will carry with me for days. Maybe months. Maybe years.”
The Independent ★★★★
“packs a devastating emotional punch”
“gripping, sometimes gaspworthy”
James Fortune is Composer on THE ODYSSEY: MISSING PRESUMED DEAD at The Liverpool Everyman
Director Nick Bagnall joins forces again with author Simon Armitage after their critically acclaimed collaboration on THE LAST DAYS OF TROY last year. Starring Colin Tierney and co-produced by ETT, THE ODYSSEY plays in Liverpool until 17th October before touring the UK.
The Stage ★★★★
“leaving a bold image imprinted on the mind.”
“ambitious, epic new work”
The Guardian ★★★★
“ingeniously interweaving past and present”
“a timely modern political drama.”
The Times ★★★★
“It is an intricate cloth that Armitage and the director Nick Bagnall have woven here”
“funny and full of surprises.”
Liverpool Echo ★★★★
“accessible, witty, and at times near-the-knuckle”
“a sweeping, poignant, witty and thought provoking piece of theatre”
“a highly polished, inventive and energetic retelling of an ancient tale”