Arts & Culture

Bipolar actor takes lead role in modern classic Jerusalem at Altrincham Garrick

By David Prior at

Bipolar actor Scott Ransome will take the lead role Jez Butterworth’s ‘Jerusalem’, the modern classic which opens at Altrincham Garrick on Monday.

Backed up by a talented cast, crew and director John Cunningham, local actor Scott, who has overcome huge mental health challenges, faces the biggest role of his life.

Scott was a professional actor after leaving drama college in the 1990s, forging a successful career – including work on TV and with the Royal Shakespeare Company – but the onset of bipolar in his late 20s meant he had to give up stage and screen.

After 15 years away from acting, he started performing on the amateur stage, but a severe manic episode two years ago led to a stay in hospital and an extended break from theatre. It was during this time that Scott grew to understand his condition better and how to manage it, with the support of mental health services and Manchester charity Moodswings.

This is now being put to the test as he takes on the role of Rooster Byron in Jerusalem, which runs for six nights from Monday until Saturday March 24th.

“Rooster is a man with no filter, no care for sobriety or taking care of himself,” said Scott. “He lives life at the absolute limit as the bulldozers gather outside his home in the woods on the outskirts of a Wiltshire village.”

Local actor Scott Ransome

It is a role Scott has dreamed of playing since seeing his acting hero Sir Mark Rylance play Rooster in the Royal Court Theatre’s premiere of ‘Jerusalem’ in 2009.

Being bipolar, Scott has to watch for symptoms like sleeplessness and rapid thoughts but he is determined to overcome the obstacles.

“Rooster is such an iconic role, demanding but so rewarding,” he added. “I hope to show that if bipolar is managed well, it can plug you into creativity and a special kind of energy on stage. It’s not going to stop me doing what I love this time.”

Special discount price: Under-26s or students in full-time education from Tuesday to Saturday – £10. Note that this is an adult production, not suitable for children under 16.

For ticket details, visit the theatre’s website here.