Rehearsals have started this week for the new UK touring production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright, touring to The Lowry from Monday 6 – Saturday 11 June. Directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise, West End) and starring international YouTube sensation Christina Bianco (Funny Girl, Theatre Marigny Paris) in the title role alongside Shobna Gulati (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Coronation Street, Dinnerladies) as Mari Hoff, Ian Kelsey (Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors) as Ray Say, Akshay Gulati (East is East; The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Bolton Octagon) as Billy, William Ilkley (War Horse, UK/ International Tour, The Full Monty, UK Tour) as Mr Boo, Fiona Mulvaney (The Ferryman, West End; Silent Witness, BBC) as Sadie, and James Robert Moore (All That, Lion and Unicorn; Fanny & Stella, Above the Stag) as Phone Man. The company is completed by Anna Hale (London Road, Cuba Pictures/BBC Films) as understudy LV and Sadie.
In a role she was born to play, two-time Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco will perform beloved ballads by icons such as Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black live on stage, capturing their unique style through her extraordinary impressions. Just like LV, Christina is ‘the girl of a thousand voices’ and has performed to sold out crowds in New York and across the US. In the UK, she’s enjoyed extended runs headlining at London’s Hippodrome, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Live at Zedel’s and The Charing Cross Theatre. In 2019 Christina won great critical acclaim in the role of Fanny Brice in Stephen Mear’s production of Funny Girl at Theatre Marigny Paris, for which she was awarded the Trophees De Le Comedie Musicale.
Meet Little Voice and Mari Hoff. A mother and daughter central to the heart of this Northern fairy-tale, but as far apart in character as can be. Left to her own devices, Little Voice starts to embody the famous divas she plays on repeat, from Judy Garland to Shirley Bassey, and becomes an overnight sensation. With humour, heart and countless timeless classics all performed live on stage, ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world.
Cartwright’s tender and life-affirming play won both the Olivier award and Evening Standard award for Best Comedy when it premiered at the National Theatre in 1992 in a production directed by Sam Mendes which transferred to the Aldwych Theatre, starring Jane Horrocks and Alison Steadman. Horrocks later reprised the role of LV in a film adaptation also starring Brenda Blethyn, Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent. With Musical Director and Associate Sound Designer Eamonn O’Dwyer, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice will feature set and costume design by Sara Perks, casting by Jane Deitch, lighting design by Nic Farman, Andrew Johnson as Sound Designer and Chris Matanlé as General Manager. The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is co-produced by Bonnie Comley and Stewart F Lane, Neil Gooding Productions and Tiny Giant Productions.