Full casting has been announced for the brand-new touring production of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise And Fall of Little Voice, produced by Katy Lipson and Glass Half Full Productions, directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise, West End; Little Women The Musical, Park Theatre/ Hope Mill) and starring international YouTube sensation Christina Bianco in the title role.
Akshay Gulati (The Family Way; East is East; The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, all Bolton Octagon) will play Billy, Anna Hale (London Road, Cuba Pictures/BBC Films) will understudy the role of LV and Sadie, with William Ilkley (War Horse, UK/ International Tour; The Full Monty, UK Tour; The Mousetrap, West End/ UK Tour), playing cabaret club owner Mr. Boo.
The cast is completed by Fiona Mulvaney (The Ferryman, West End; Silent Witness, BBC) as Sadie and James Robert Moore (All That, Lion and Unicorn; Fanny & Stella, Above the Stag) in the role of Phone Man. James will also be Resident Director on the production.
They will join the previously announced Shobna Gulati as Mari Hoff, much loved for her roles in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End/film) and Coronation Street, and West End leading man Ian Kelsey as Ray Say.
Two-time Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco, whose extraordinary diva videos have been viewed over 25 million times on YouTube, will play LV. Described as ‘the girl of a thousand voices,’ Christina has performed her amazing impressions on many major television programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Today Show.
Directed by Bronagh Lagan, with Musical Director and Associate Sound Designer Eamonn O’Dwyer, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice will feature set and costume design by Sara Perks, casting by Jane Deitch, lighting design by Nic Farman, Andrew Johnson as Sound Designer and Chris Matanlé as General Manager.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice will open in Southampton on 23 March 2022 and tour to The Capitol Horsham, Exeter Northcott, Malvern Theatres, Theatre Clwyd, Theatre Royal Brighton, Derby Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Crewe Lyceum Theatre, The Lowry Salford, Blackpool Grand, Mercury Theatre Colchester, Richmond Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham.
From Judy Garland to Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe to Billie Holliday, Christina Bianco will vividly bring to life performances from the great chanteuses in Cartwright’s tender and life-affirming play. The Rise and Fall of Little Voice won both the Oliver award and Evening Standard award for Best Comedy when it premiered at the National Theatre in 1992 in a production directed by Sam Mendes which transferred to the Aldwych, starring Jane Horrocks and Alison Steadman. Horrocks later reprised the role of LV in a film adaptation also starring Brenda Blethyn, Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent.
Meet Little Voice and Mari Hoff. A mother and daughter central to the heart of this Northern fairy-tale, but 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, Cartwright’s timeless and iconic tale explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world.