Jim Cartwright’s ‘The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice!’

Hi Everyone,

I’m back with another theatre review! I recently got to go and see ‘The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice!’ A play that is currently touring the UK this year, but I got the chance to see it at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester!

The show by Jim Cartwright tells the story of a shy young girl who, after her father’s sudden death. Does nothing but stay in her family home, looking after her drunken, men-obsessed mother, as well as keeping the home into some sort of order by listening to her old father’s recorders that he had left to her after he died. 

After her mother starts seeing this talent agent Ray Say, it is discovered that Little Voice or ‘LV’ as she’s known to everyone has a talent for doing impressions of famous signers and divas of the past, along with being a really good singer. After LV is pushed into performing at a local club night after night, her mental health starts to decline and the deserter starts to rear its ugly head. 

Little Voice (Christina Bianco) is on stage in a while sparkly dress holding a microphone singing at full volume.

The acting by Shobna Gulati (Mari) and Ian Kelsey (Ray Say) was outstanding, you could tell that their relationship was starting to turn and things like money, power and social status becoming more important to them than their feelings for each other. Christina Bianco has a real talent for singing and doing impressions of other singers, to do both at the same time was an absolute joy to watch and listen to. I could easily go to and watch an evening with her alone! Brilliant performances! Her acting was great too. To be able to switch from a singing and joyous performance to a quiet and very recluse character, then gradually sink into deep and dark despair was sad but amazing to watch. I could not help to feel for the LV character and what she had become. 

There was a great side plot between LV and Billy (Askhay Gulati) a phone line installer and repair man throughout the main plot of the show. How Billy managed to get LV out of her shell and by the end of the show have a relationship of her own with him after all this character had been through was brilliant to see. 

With the house in the foreground everyone is standing outside listening is standing outside listening to little voice who is still in her bedroom singing to a record.

The show deals with a lot of dark tones, including grief, mental health and depression. It handles all of these delicately and gracefully, but also with the respect it deserves. You had a sense of how each character was feeling. and what they were going through down to the brilliant acting by all the cast. But I had a real connection with the LV character and what she must have been going through, and that for me is a sure sign of unbelievable acting!  

People With Low Vision: The set is large, with plenty to look at, my recommendation is to see as close as you feel comfortable to be able to see everything and all the little details, there is little use of brightly colour lights within the show, apart from the club scenes which as a glittering curtain, spotlights and show light bulbs around it.

People With No Vision: Overall the show is very easy to follow, with the odd scene here and there that does have some visual jags and jokes, that you may need to ask a companion for details. But overall easy to follow. Sadly there is no Audio Description performance, but on this occasion, you might be okay with not having one. 

‘The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice’ is running at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester from 21st – 25th June 2022 but is on tour through the UK, If you can manage to get tickets at The Mercury (for which you can find by clicking/tapping here. I’m sure you can find another theatre near you where this show will be playing. Details you can find on the show’s main site by clicking/tapping here! I thoroughly recommend you go and see this show! This is one not to be missed! 

Until Next Time!

The VI Critic  

The advertising poster for the show, a pink background all the main cast (Christina Bianco, Ian Kelsey & Shobna Gulati) With a shot of Little Voice sitting on the floor holding her records in a sweatshirt, jeans and trainers. With the title of "The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice By Jim Cartwright UK Tour 2022' in gold writing. with the o in voice as a music record.