The Rise & Fall of Little Voice

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A modern day Award-Winning comedy-drama from Jim Cartwright is on tour in the UK and stopped off for a stint at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

Mari Hoff and daughter Little Voice live in the grey backstreets of Northern England and are exceptionally different! Mari is loud, abrasive, full of life, no food in the house but there is booze and always wants a good time. Little Voice (LV) is unassuming, quiet as a mouse and prefers to stay in her bedroom listening to her dad’s records – the only thing he left when he passed away.

LV listens all day every day to these records from all the classic divas over the past few decades and gets swept away with the magic of this time. She sings along to the records and lives in the music to distract her from her life.

Mari starts dating a small-time club owner always looking for the next big thing to make his fortune. One evening after a power cut, he hears LV singing and can’t believe how these amazing impressions come from such a quiet girl. Ray has stardom on his mind and persuades Mari, LV and Mr Boo to have LV sing at the club. Shy and quiet LV has only ever sung in her bedroom therefore things don’t quite go to plan when she gets on stage for the first time.

All relationships become fraught with tension as we see them all trying to deal with this new situation which takes them on a new journey.

Cartwright’s timeless and iconic tale explores the highs and lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world. This play has heart and plenty of humour, some of the humour is pretty cheeky but we can forgive it as it works so well with the charactrs.

There is music from Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe and others performed by Christina Bianco (LV) who has an incredible voice and vocal ability. The cast were superb. Each played their characters perfectly and believably which is why we felt the hurt for Mari, the worry from LV, the excitement and tolerance of Ray and the, well, not quite sure what we felt with Sadie but we were laughing.

The set is fantastic – a two-storey house opened like a Doll’s house so we can see all that goes on inside. It worked so well and made everything even more believable.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is touring the UK and is worth going to see, especially if you enjoyed the film.

Christina Bianco – LV
Shobna Gulati – Mari
Ian Kelsey – Ray
Akshay Gulati – Billy
Fiona Mulvaney – Sadie
William Ilkley – Mr Boo

This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE


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