Fringe Box



Little Voice – Big Disappointment – Stage Dragon

Published on: 5 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 5 Sep, 2012

By The Stage Dragon

This production is at the beginning of a national tour and, sadly, it shows. It just seems too unpolished and slightly too pantomime in parts. There is too much slapstick and in-your-face comedy relied on for cheap laughs.

The tale is of an achingly shy, reclusive Northern girl named Little Voice and her larger than life, out of control mother Mari. It is very well written, with a lovely set and a very sharp sound and lighting team.

Cues are delivered well and most scene transitions are smooth. The scene of the house fire is particularly well done and both Morgan Large Designer and Jason Taylor Lighting Designer should be commended for this.

Desperately missing her dead father, Little Voice spends her time locked in her bedroom listening to his old record collection and perfecting astonishing impersonations of famous divas. There is no doubt that Jess Robinson (Little Voice) has an astounding singing voice, which she showcases beautifully throughout the show, especially in the final scene where Little Voice finds her own voice.

The impersonations she delivers could do with a little more practice, at times it is a struggle to pick out differences between certain characters. But her Tina Turner impression is highly comical and she gives a fantastic performance as she is being told she has to sing one last time.

Joe McGann as ‘Ray Say’, Beverley Callard as ‘Mari Hoff’, Jess Robinson as ‘Little Voice’ and Ray Quinn as ‘Billy’ – Photo Paul Coltas

The company needs to work on pace: at times it is lacking, the show drags and I even found myself clock watching. Equally, the trips and stumbles in delivery not only slow the pace they can destroy any illusion all theatre relies on.

Beverley Callard as Mari has high energy throughout and has great comic timing. Disappointingly, her acting is at times over-the-top, even wooden and quite unnecessarily brash. Ray Quinn as Billy has a small role, but is endearing and a delight to watch on stage. He develops a lovely relationship with Little Voice and as an audience we want the best for both characters. I also enjoyed Joe McGann’s portrayal of Ray Say, but he could afford to make the character even slimier and more selfish, especially when lashing out at Mari.

For me, it was a disappointing evening and I was surprised by the ovation given by the majority of the audience. The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice runs at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre until Saturday 8th September before going on tour around the UK.

Why not go and make your own mind up? The Stage Dragon welcomes feedback. Please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below. All comments are moderated. Your email address will not be given.

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