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The Rise and Fall of Little Voice - New Wimbledon Theatre (Review)

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Review by David Munro

THE Rise and Fall of Little Voice is an anecdote about a teen-aged girl with a phenomenal talent for mimicking well known singers and the attempts of her mother and the mother’s lover to exploit her.

As written it is a very sad story of a young girl devastated by the loss of her father and derided by her mother but who takes refuge in the solace of her father’s record collection.

Her relationship with a young electrician who loves her seems doomed when she is forced to appear in a seedy night club to exploit her talent. She rebels but to what effect?

The production now on tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre is directed by the author, Jim Cartwright, so one must assume that what appears on stage is how he wishes his work to be seen.

This rather ties the hands of your critic who found the piece vulgar, overacted and lacking the basic pathos of the plot; if this was the author’s intention so be it.

Beverley Callard as the mother, Mari, gave a performance which I thought was exaggerated and unfunny, an extension in fact of her blousy barmaid in Coronation Street.

Philip Andrew, substituting for Joe McGann, as the small time agent and Mari’s latest lover gave a stereotyped rendition of his character more appropriate to the end of Blackpool pier than a small northern town street.

Ray Quinn made a good stab at the young lover although most of his major scenes occurred on the far left of the stage and were invisible from my seat in the stalls.

Jess Robinson gave a memorable rendition of the singing divas she emulated (always assuming her voice wasn’t dubbed) but instead of the unhappy girl she seemed more the recalcitrant teenager rebelling against her mother’s domination; but if that was what Mr Cartwright wanted who am I to argue about her interpretation?

As you will have gathered I cannot really recommend the production but you may be interested to go and see how an author presents his own work.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright
Director – Jim Cartwright
Designer – Morgan Large
Lighting – Jason Taylor
Sound – Andrew Johnson

CAST: Beverley Callard – Ray Quinn – Philip Andrew – Jess Robinson – Duggie Brown- Sally Plumb – Ceris Hine- Lisa Howard – John Cockerill – James Hirst.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway , Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG

Mon, November 12 to Sat, Nov 17, 2012
Evenings – 7.30 pm/Matinees – Thurs & Sat 2.30pm
Box Office – 0870 060 6646