Who Is Craig Hepworth?
After training in dance, singing and acting Craig enjoyed a career in musicals, both in the UK and abroad ranging from shows such as Fame, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hot Mikado to Black Comedy and Blink. In 2006 Craig decided to go in a different direction and opened up the now award winning theatre company Vertigo Theatre Productions. He would now concentrate on writing and directing as well as working as one of the three producers on each of the 24 productions.
Over the years he has gained a reputation as one of the most successful fringe writers/directors in the North West, his bold approach to all aspects of theatre has seen him enjoy a plethora of five star reviews as well as several award nominations and wins. His directing style has caught the eyes of many who have praised his cinematic/stylised and raw approach to the artform. His take on many different genres has also been praised, ranging from powerful drama such as Mysterious Skin (award nominated) and Last Dance (5 star reviewed) to outrageous comedies including Die, Mommie, Die! (5 star reviewed) and Psycho Beach Party (critically acclaimed). His thrillers including the award winning M and the UK Premiere stage adaptation of the BAFTA nominated film EXAM played to rave reviews and sold out audiences and his recent 70’s bio play Porno Chic about legendary porn star Harry Reems won both critical and commercial praise and is now heading to London and has gained the attention of a prominent American screenwriter. Hepworth was recently nominated for three prestigious awards at the Manchester Theatre Awards (the largest outside London) for the play he co wrote and directed called Watching Goldfish Suffocate and his upcoming play Ascension looks set to raise the bar on the fringe scene yet again in a truly stylistic look into the minds of a psychopath and a sociopath. His writing has been called “bold”, “raw”, “inspired” and “unforgettable”, his take on the early AIDS epidemic in Last Dance was compared favourably to the Pulitzer Prize winning plays The Normal Heart and Angels In America. His blending of cinema and theatre in plays such as Porno Chic and M only reinforced his reputation as a risk taker on the fringe scene, and his ability to write successfully in many different genres continues to impress critics and audiences alike. Hepworth is also a keen collaborator whether that be with his long time writing partner Adele Stanhope or with new writers including David Degiorgio and Stuart Reeve, these collaborations have provided some of the most unforgettable plays on the fringe scene.
With critics telling him time after time that it is ready to take the next step out of the fringe scene, Hepworth is looking to broaden his horizons and experience new challenges working with new companies, new directors and hopefully get the chance to venture into commercial theatre. Labelled as “king of the fringe scene” by Andrew Edwards on his radio talk show, creating one of “Manchester’s Premiere Fringe Theatre Companies” and being both award nominated and award winning Hepworth will continue to push boundaries on the fringe scene and beyond. Craig also wrote a column as well as working as a critic for What’s On Stage North West and had many of his articles feature on the national site. He is a regular contributor to BroadwayWorld.com and also writes reviews for The Public Reviews. He was first asked to review and write a column for What’s On Stage North due to his extensive knowledge of the theatre industry worldwide and his often quite strong opinions. His work in theatre has caught the attention of many industry professionals, from the West End to Broadway, his reputation allowed him to secure the rights to the UK Premiere productions of Bert V. Royals “Dog Sees God: Confessions Of A Teenage Blockhead”, Charles Buschs “Psycho Beach Party & Die, Mommie, Die!” and Stuart Hazledines “EXAM”. His continuing relationships with Charles Busch has allowed him to do a rewrite on his popular play Psycho Beach Party and Bert V. Royal (writer of Golden Globe nominated film Easy A) has remained in contact and very impressed with his work and even offered help and guidance to take him to the next level. His co adaptation (with Richard Allen and Stuart Reeve) of the BAFTA nominated film EXAM (with permission of the writer Stuart Hazledine) attracted the attention of a major Broadway producer and his award nominated play Watching Goldfish Suffocate (co written with David Degiorgio) also got the backing and support of Ian Puleston-Davies from Coronation Street.