The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

by Handy Mag

The ‘girl of a thousand voices’ stars in a revival of Jim Cartwright’s award-winning play

By Jim Cartwright and starring Shobna Gulati, Ian Kelsey and Christina Bianco as LV

York Theatre Royal, 4-9 July

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.

Christina Bianco’s extraordinary diva videos have been viewed over 25 million times on YouTube. Described as ‘the girl of a thousand voices,’ Christina has performed her amazing impressions on many major television programmes including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Today Show.  A Two-Time Drama Desk Award nominee, she made her West End debut starring in Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville Theatre. Most recently, she played the iconic role of Fanny Brice at the Theatre Marigny’s celebrated production of Funny Girl in Paris. New York credits include The Marvelous Wonderettes, the one-woman, multi-character comedy; Application Pending (Drama Desk Award Nomination); Newsical the Musical; and Forbidden Broadway Goes To Rehab (Drama Desk Award Nomination). Other professional credits include the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Maureen in Rent, and Cunegonde in Candide.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

York Theatre Royal, 4-9 July

Evenings 7.30pm

Matinees Thurs 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

Box office 01904 623568 |

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