IT’S curtain up this week on a special tribute to a St Helens-born Hollywood movie sound genius.

Part of Liverpool's Capital of Culture '08 celebrations, The Quiet Little Englishman is a play by local writer Esther Wilson which chronicles the life of the film sound pioneer George Groves who was born over a barber's shop at 57 Duke Street.

After studying at Cowley Grammar and Liverpool University, George followed his Tiller girl sweetheart to the States and joined a team at Bell Labs in New York who were developing the Vitaphone talking picture system.

When he recorded Al Jolson's historic part-talkie,The Jazz Singer in Hollywood in 1927 he became the movie industry's first ever sound recordist or 'sound man' and it was Jolson who dubbed George George Groves In a 49 year-long career with Warner Brothers, Groves worked on countless films and his proudest moment was in 1965 when, as Warners' Head of Sound Dept, he collected his Oscar for Best Sound from Steve McQueen and Claudia Cardinale for his innovative work on the classic musical My Fair Lady.

The venue for the world premiere of The Quiet Little Englishman will be the Park Palace, a disused music hall and cinema in Mill Street, Dingle especially chosen by producers Zho Visual Theatre. They are also making a documentary about the theatre which first opened its doors in 1893.

In 2007 The Quiet Little Englishman was chosen by the Liverpool Culture Company as one of the brand new works of art to be showcased throughout the Capital of Culture year.

Writer Esther Wilson, who comes from St Helens, has just been nominated for a prestigious TMA Theatre Award for Best New Play for her previous production Ten Tiny Toes, which was performed at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre in June this year, receiving fabulous reviews.

She describes her new play as a "moving tribute which pays homage to the unsung man", who between 1901 and 1923 also lived in Owen Street, Speakman Road and King Edward Road in St Helens.

The Quiet Little Englishman tells George Groves' story through a promenade-style show involving soundscapes, film and theatre.

Several members of George's family are flying in from the States especially to see the production.