Rise & Fall of Little Voice

by Jim Cartright 
5th -12th April 2025 7.30pm

a comic tragedy about finding your voice in a noisy world.

Jim Cartwright’s twenty-eight-year-old play was described in reviews at the time as “a northern fairy-tale of big ambitions and lost dreams,” which is an accurate summary of this modern classic. Originally directed by Sam Mendes in the theatre it was an instant hit. When it was made into a film in 1998 with an ‘A’ list cast, it won a string of prestigious awards plus made Jane Horrocks (for whom it had been written) a star!
Set in a small town in the ‘north’, this is a play about a fragile and reclusive young girl called ‘Little Voice’, (LV for short). LV still mourns the loss of her beloved father, who like him, has been abused and neglected by her boozy, brassy mother, Mari, a flawed and tragic figure herself. LV’s only escape from grim reality, is to retreat and hide away in the sanctuary of her bedroom. There, LV listens obsessively to her fathers’ old LP collection which contains songs of the great female divas from the past.
Lacking any confidence in herself, LV survives by imitating those divas who give her a voice, when her own voice is never heard. When Mari brings home her latest sleazy boyfriend, the small-time promoter, Ray Say, he hears LV and sees an opportunity to exploit her talent, to achieve his dream of ‘hitting the big time’. There in a local seedy nightclub, all their dreams rise and fall.
Jim Cartwright’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ is essentially about women set in a bygone age the gritty culture of northern towns and clubs. Filled with grotesque but real characters and a storyline punctuated by music from a golden age of song.
Judy Garland once said to her daughter Liza Minnelli to impart wisdom about the industry they were in, ‘Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else’. The play is many things, sad, brutal, honest, poignant and very funny too but is ultimately the uplifting story of LV finding her own voice in a dark and noisy world.


Little Voice … Helen Rose
Ray Say  …Colin Smith
Marie … Jo Lord
Billy … Nathan Simpson
Sadie … Alison Wood
Mr Boo …  Damien Kavanagh
Phone Man  …  Andy Hall

Bass Player

Keyboard Player


Director…. Phil McCarthy 

PA… Pauline Walsh

Set…Chris Bannatyne, Frank Brown, John Lees


Sound… Mark Acton , Patrick Warrington

Costumes… Verity Mann, Sue Lund, 

Stage Manager 
Assistant SM
Publicity… David Ebden


Sat 5th April 2025


7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

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