Lancashire stage, film and TV actor and singer Jane Horrocks was today made an Honorary Doctor of Arts at Edge Hill University.
Addressing graduands in Performing Arts and Childhood & Youth Studies, she gave some advice from Saint Augustine of Hippo, who said:
“We shall rest and we shall see. We shall see and we shall know. We shall know and we shall love. We shall love and we shall praise.”
Jane Horrocks is a highly accomplished stage, film and TV actor and singer. Born in Rawtenstall in 1964, her strong Lancashire accent remains an essential part of her identity. After taking a drama course at Oldham Technical College, Jane was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and, on graduation, joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Winning critical acclaim for her role as Nicola in Mike Leigh’s film Life is Sweet (1991), Jane came to national prominence in the stage show The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (1998), a musical play written specially for her by Jim Cartwright to showcase her prodigious talent for vocal impersonation. Successfully transferring to film in 1998, her portrayals of legends such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday and Shirley Bassey are, quite simply, stunning, leading to Best Actress nominations from BAFTA, BIFA and the Golden Globes in 1999.
On television, Jane is perhaps best known for her role as the ditsy secretary Bubble in Absolutely Fabulous. Most recently, Jane has reverted to the stage playing Ella Khan in the London revival of East is East and many will have been moved by her reading at the VE Day 70: A Party to Remember broadcast by the BBC on 9 May 2015.
Jane had the following advice for graduands:
“Make the absolute most of your youth and the opportunities it provides. Be true to yourself – try not to get stuck doing something for money or for the sake of it. Seek out that something that really lights you up.”