Little Voice’s journey offers plenty to enjoy along the way - The Leamington Observer

Little Voice’s journey offers plenty to enjoy along the way

Leamington Editorial 13th Jul, 2023 Updated: 15th Jul, 2023   0

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Loft Theatre

WE seem to live in a world where everyone is hellbent on getting their chance in the spotlight. Wall-to-wall TV talent shows offering the perennially hopeful (and habitually hopeless) a ticket to stardom in everything from singing and dancing to dating and baking.

And every step, on what – by convention – must be called a journey, is acted out in the public eye and under the gaze of the adoring family and proud entourage, dabbing their eyes and counting the cash.




The tale of Little Voice charts a journey of a different kind; from obscurity to relative acclaim then back through harrowing catastrophe to eventual redemption.

And this fine production by Vicki Betts at the Loft offers a chance to go along for the ride.


We’re in a world of cynical disappointment fuelled by booze, a paucity of fresh food, and copious self-loathing at the centre of which is a fragile, bona fide talent waiting, but perhaps not wanting, to be discovered.

Richard Moore’s versatile design allows swift transitions between rooms and club stage, bedroom window conversations and the hunt for food in a deathtrap kitchen. Adrian Matthews’s atmospheric lighting gives us a credible home blaze as well as the bright lights of the club nights.

For a play which does pack a serious punch here and there, the characters away from the lead are a trifle two-dimensional but no less fun for being so.

Lorna Middleton as the neglectfully selfish mother is excellent, a fine study in mutton dressed as mutton. Mark Crossley as the on-the-make manager Ray Say oozes insincere charm and conniving before imploding in a blaze of vitriol when things don’t go his way.

 

But it’s Little Voice herself who has to carry a lot of the impetus, often unspoken and vulnerable and Nona Davies meets the challenge and then some. From brittle beginnings she gradually finds her wings and an unexpected friend, and delivers a tour de force collection of club numbers and a genuinely moving finale.

It’s a fine performance in which the graduation from silent to singing is finely-detailed, seamless and completely believable.The moral of the tale – that not everybody seeks stardom and, of those who reach it, not all find it a suitable destination – is not new but in this hugely entertaining, funny and watchable production, it’s a moral that, like the vintage records on the wall, still plays.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice plays until Saturday July 22. For details visit lofttheatrecompany.com

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