Little Voice - Mark Owen pens Vickers' final song
Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle
SUNLIGHT, the final song sung by Diana Vickers in the first major West End revival of Jim Cartwright’s multi award-winning The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, was specially written for the play by Take That’s Mark Owen and fellow co-writers Jamie Norton and Ben Mark.
And the song has obviously delighted preview audiences who have been giving it standing ovations – eight minutes at the first preview on October 8.
Talking about Sunlight, playwright Jim Cartwright said: “It had always been my intention to write an original song for the end of my play, when Little Voice finally sings in her own voice. However, when we first premiered it at the National Theatre in 1992 we ran out of time and a Judy Garland song was used.
“When I first heard Sunlight with Diana Vickers singing it, tears came to my eyes. I was just thrilled. It was exactly what I wanted. Thank you to Mark, Jamie and Ben for helping me to realise my dream for the ending of the play. It has taken 17 years but with a song as perfect as this, it was worth the wait.”
Producer Nica Burns added: “When we first discussed the new West End production, Jim Cartwright immediately said he wanted an original song for the end of the play. Then, by one of those extraordinary coincidences, he happened to be at Granada studios when Take That were filming a special. He bumped into their manager, Jonathan Wild, and he asked him if they would consider writing a new song for the show. The result is Sunlight.”
“Mark Owen said: “Jim Cartwright is one of the country’s leading playwrights and to be asked to be involved in the writing of the final song for ‘Little Voice’ was a real honour. I’m a huge fan and am thrilled that he feels the song fits the moment and does his play justice. I’m really looking forward to watching it.”
And the last word goes to Diana Vickers who said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard Mark Owen was going to write the final song for the play! I’d always really looked up to Mark, as I think the songs he writes with Take That are spectacular. Sunlight is absolutely beautiful, and it provides the perfect ending to a brilliant play.”
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is described as a savage black comedy-drama about painfully shy, diminutive Little Voice (LV), who lives alone in the north of England with her mother, Mari (Lesley Sharp).
Mari’s drunken, overbearing personality has driven LV into seclusion in her bedroom, where she listens to her late father’s records and has perfected faultless impersonations of the greatest divas, including Judy Garland, Edith Piaf and Dame Shirley Bassey.
When Mari’s latest boyfriend, small-time working men’s club impresario Ray Say (Marc Warren), overhears LV singing, he puts in place a tragic sequence of events as he pushes her towards stardom she doesn’t want and is literally terrified of.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice opens at the Vaudeville Theatre on October 20 and is booking until January 30, 2010.