Review: The Rise & Fall of Little Voice at Salisbury Playhouse

Little Voice is an iconic character brought to life by Jane Horrocks in the 1998 smash-hit movie. The film was adapted for the big screen from the stage play, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, by playwright Jim Cartwright. It is this stage version that has arrived at Salisbury Playhouse this week, bringing dazzling performances and laugh-out-loud moments with it! 

The award-winning comedy-drama has won both awards and hearts over the years, with a fairytale story of love, loss, power and fame. 

Little Voice and Billy in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Little Voice is a girl hiding from life and her alcoholic mother. After years of neglect, she has immersed herself in the music of legendary singers including Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, learning how to mimic their unique voices. Her talent is spotted by ‘agent’ Ray Say who, along with her mother, forces LV to take to the stage.  

YouTube sensation Christina Bianco is an ideal fit for Little Voice. She’s well known for her impressions and she doesn’t disappoint. You can feel the anticipation as the audience waits for the full spectacle of her vocal talents and, after a few teasers, she finally shows us her full range in an emotionally charged medley. 

Christina Bianco find hers voice!

Little Voice may be meek and mild, but her mother certainly isn’t! Mari is played by former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati and she is excellent in the role. Gulati brings an energy to the stage that holds everything together. Mari may be irritating and coarse but there is a comedy and sympathy to her performance. Her scenes with boyfriend Ray (played by fellow soap actor Ian Kelsey) are a joy to watch as they expertly create a believability in their characters and turbulent relationship. 

Christina Bianco, Ian Kelsey and Shobna Gulati

Far from having a little voice, this adaptation has a big heart and big characters and is well worth a watch. See it at Salisbury Playhouse until Saturday 14th May. Click here for tickets.

If you’re looking for more thrilling entertainment, make sure you don’t miss the Salisbury International Arts Festival! Click here to see a full list of events. 

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