Theatre: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Performed at Birmingham Rep

A performance at the Birmingham Rep is already a winner as it’s an exceptional theatre (except for the lack of an aisle in the middle meaning a very long row to get in and out of past c24 pairs of knees, but, still the theatre is a pleasure to be in). 

The story of Little Voice, the introverted young girl with the big voice too match every diva is about to unfold before me.

I hear a soundtrack of adverts and music of the 1980s as I make my way to my seat gawking the fantastic set. It depicts a two up, two down house and the audience immediately finds that often two scenes are witnessed at the same time.

The dialogue doesn’t let up, despite the minute cast of six, but it’s good that two are pretty quiet, Little Voice herself and silent Sadie, best friend of LV’s mum Mari . Mari is by far the character with the most lines, most often consisting of made up language followed by a ripple of audience amusement.

Despite the serious undertones of the reclusive, yet talented daughter, her insecure, but over-bearing widowed mother and the sleazy, pushy talent scout, there are jokes throughout. The play is not as violent as the film as I recall it (from a long time ago) but I wouldn’t want to see Ray, Mari’s current squeeze and self-appointed show biz agent be particularly aggressive on a stage a few feet away from me. Plus fake hitting someone is a tricky manoeuvre to pull off.

As is the fire on stage – I could feel it getting warm and was worried for the shiny showbiz curtain lining the back wall! Another stand out moment is with the Jackson Five’s I Want You Back as the soundtrack.

A fantastic performance by all with so many great scenes, this one is going to be remembered long after the curtain comes down. Catch it if you can. Tickets from Birmingham Rep till 30th May.

By editor and founder Rickie J. Tweet on @RickieWrites or @BrumFaves

Photos courtesy of Birmingham Rep.