The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Paisley Arts Centre, Wed 14-Sat 17 Feb, then touring


Judy Garland said to her daughter: ‘Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.’ The title character of Little Voice seems to have it the wrong way round; she’s unsure of herself but first rate at imitating others.

If you haven’t seen the film, shy and withdrawn Little Voice, known as LV (Denise Hoey), escapes the pain of the loss of her father and the hysteria of her alcoholic mother (Wendy Seager) through mimicking the great singers of yesteryear while holed up in her room. Her uncanny ability to impersonate the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland from her selection of old records catches the attention of her mother’s latest squeeze, small fry manager Ray Say (Stewart Porter), who thrusts her unwillingly into the spotlight.

Award winning Visible Fictions and the Scottish Touring Theatres Consortium presents Jim Cartwright’s familiar and very British classic. It’s a variation of the underdog story - a girl struggling to overcome the obstacles in her life. The play subtly combines character driven comedy and a dark analysis of the celebrity culture that we are all too familiar with. It was written specifically for actress Jane Horrocks and premiered at the National Theatre in 1992. Horrocks made a strong ‘impression’ with her performance, so a lot will be riding on Hoey’s ability to carry the character through the fraught relationships and the powerful warbling of legends past.

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