Review: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Catherine Collins.

As the lights rise in the intimate setting of MAST Mayflower Studios, a dimly lit two-up-two-down house down an alleyway is revealed and the bittersweet comedy that is The Rise and Fall of Little Voice begins.

Little Voice and Mari Hoff – are the mother and daughter central to the heart of this Northern fairy-tale, and when Mari starts dating small-time club owner, Ray Say, Little Voice’s astonishing impersonations of her favourite singers are thrust into the spotlight.

International YouTube sensation, Christina Bianco, plays Little Voice, LV for short, and just like the character she plays, Christina takes on the many voices of some of the greatest divas of all time in an impressive display showing the range and depth of a repertoire as far apart as Lulu, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Bassey.

And, she sings them so well that at times I began to wonder if she was lip-syncing… she was not! 

Mari is played by Shobna Gulati, of Coronation Street fame, who, despite constantly bullying and abusing Little Voice, has an on-stage presence that engages theatre-goers, and her delivery and comedy timing ensures the audience are left howling at times – especially in her scenes with Sadie, played by Fiona Mulvaney, who only has one word that covers all of her lines and yet still manages to be the one to raise the majority of laughs.

Her on-stage lover played by Ian Kelsey is supposed to be sleazy, which doesn’t come across until the later stages of the play, but when it does – the gasps from the audience show that they felt the sting in his words.

The cast is relatively small – there are only seven, but all of them play their parts well and the time passes quickly until the final scenes, where Little Voice finally comes to the end of her journey, lets go of her impersonations and shows us her true voice!

If you are booked to see The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – you are in for a treat! 

Tickets for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (23 – 26 March) are on sale at or 02380 711811.


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