The Rise and Fall of
By Jim Cartwright
York Theatre Royal, 4-9 July
Meet Little Voice and Mari Hoff. A mother and daughter central to the heart of Jim Cartwright’s Northern fairy-tale The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at York Theatre Royal (4-9 July), but they are 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 powerhouse ballads all performed live on stage, this timeless and iconic tale explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world. Cartwright’s play won both the Oliver award and Evening Standard award for best comedy when premiered at the National Theatre in 1992.
The cast of Little Voice includes TV favourite Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinnerladies, Loose Women) and York-born Emmerdale & Casualty actor Ian Kelsey alongside two-time Drama Desk Award nominee Christina Bianco as Little Voice.
Although Ian Kelsey has seen countless shows at York Theatre Royal this will be the first time he’s appeared on stage there. “It’s my hometown and I’ve seen many, many pantos and shows at the Theatre Royal but never performed there before. I’m a little bit jittery about the maybe more critical eyes of people I went to school with or who I worked on the railway with. I also hope I don’t meet the theatre ghost, the Grey Lady,” he says.