THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE till 30 05 15

Birmingham
THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE: Jim Cartwright
Birmingham Rep

Info: www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
Runs: 2h 50m, one interval, to 30 05 15

Review: 19 May, Alexander Ray Edser

Feel-good fable stylishly revived
THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE is a no-hold-barred feel-good comedy. Having said that, it has its tough moments too. Little Voice (LV) hardly speaks because she’s constantly put down by her domineering and self-centred mother, Mari. It is entirely to our delight that Mari is firmly, even brutally, put down in the play’s closing moments – not once, but twice. So brutally that she even wins just the tiniest bit of sympathy.

Lots of broad comedy playing from the company. Particularly from Vicky Entwistle (Mari) and Chris Gascoyne (Ray Say her paramour.) And we shouldn’t leave out Joanne Brookes as next-door Sadie, as long suffering as she is large, and a great delight when dancing.

But this is really a play about LV beautifully created by Nancy Sullivan. LV is a tough nut to crack – she has very little dialogue throughout, but she must draw us towards her. And then the big singing impressions in the second half. How we would love more of them – Shirley Bassey is great, Maria Callas superb.

Colin Richmond’s set is effective and witty throughout, but truly comes into its own in the fire – a remarkable and truly impressive effect. James Brining directs with an eye to the big comedic effect and with style. For my taste I would have preferred some of the comedy to be a little less thrust at us as I think character is sacrificed. But my taste isn’t always everyone else’s and the production earns a very warm thank-you indeed.

Joanna Bookes: Sadie
Brendan Charleson: Mr Boo
Vicky Entwistle: Mari
Chris Gascoyne: Ray Say
Tendayi Jembere: Billy
Nancy Sullivan: Little Voice

James Brining: Director
Colin Richmond: Designer
Philip Gladwell: Lighting Designer
David Shrubsole: Musical Director and Composer
Dan Hoole: Sound Designer
Polly Bennett: Movement Director
Pippa Ailion: Casting Director
Tom Birch: Assistant Director
Ruth Hall: Associate Designer
Will Stuart: Associate Musical Director
Renny Krupinski: Fight Director
Charmian Hoare: Voice Coach

2015-05-21 11:29:07

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