A riotous and poignant musical comedy

In a northern English town, sometime in the early 1990s, the shy, reclusive Little Voice locks herself away in her upstairs bedroom listening to her dead father’s record collection. Missing her father more than she can say, she plays his treasured vinyl obsessively and quietly perfects astonishing, pitch-perfect impersonations of the many famous divas she hears coming out of the speakers...

Downstairs, Little Voice’s loud, blousy mother, Mari, has been left similarly bereft by her husband’s death, but rages at him rather than mourning his loss. Out-of-control and desperate, she lurches from man to man, seeking what she thinks will be her last chance at love, life and happiness...

Upstairs and downstairs rarely meet. And when they do, Little Voice is all but mute. But when Mari brings home her latest fancy-man, small-time agent and talent scout Ray Say, something unexpected happens. Ray overhears Little Voice singing – and immediately realises he’s stumbled onto his golden ticket to the Big Time. There’s just one problem. Little Voice doesn’t want to sing in public. For anybody. Ever...

The Olivier Award-wining Rise And Fall Of Little Voice is part showbusiness fairytale, part Northern clubland comedy. Life affirming and bittersweet, Jim Cartwright’s tale of mothers, daughters and the need to be loved combines hilarity and poignancy with classic knock-out songs.

If you remember fondly the 1998 film starring Jane Horrocks, or enjoyed our production of Jim Cartwright’s Two in 2013, make a date to see (and hear) Little Voice: it’s the perfect afternoon or evening’s musical-comedy entertainment.

“BRAVO! A powerful display. Harrowing yet extremely comedic.”

The Courier
star star star star star

“SUPERB. A terrific evening of laughs, pathos and unforgettable music.”

The Wee Review
star star star star

"A tour-de-force performance"

The Scotsman
star star star star

"When LV shines enough to find her own voice, it’s ELECTRIC. The play itself dovetails between sitcom, romcom and soap opera."

The Herald

"Fine performances across the board. It also has a brilliant, off-the-shelf musical score."

Sunday Herald

Deirdre Davis


  • Creative Team

    Director Gemma Fairlie

    Set and Costume Designer Becky Minto

    Lighting Designer Wayne Dowdeswell

    Composer and Sound Designer Jon Beales

    Musical Director David Higham

    Stage Manager Kay Hesford

    Deputy Stage Manager (book) Marianne Forde

    Assistant Stage Manager Helen Ashman

  • Writers

    Jim Cartwright


    Jim Cartwright’s plays are consistently performed around the world and have won numerous awards. They have been translated into over 35 languages


    His first play, Road, opened at The Royal Court in 1986, and was subsequently revived that same year and again in 1987, before being taken on a nationwide tour. Road won the Samuel Beckett Award, Drama Magazine’s Best New Play Award, The Plays And Players Award and The George Devine Award. In 1988, Road was produced by The Lincoln Centre, New York. Road is now considered a modern classic. Other works include: Bed (National Theatre, 1989); Two (Octagon Theatre, 1989, The Young Vic, London, 1990, winner of The Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award), Eight Miles High (Octagon Theatre, Bolton 1991, Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1994 and revived there again in 1995, nominated for the TMA best musical award. In 1997 a production of the play at the Reykjavik City Theatre, Iceland, ran for a year, breaking box office records) and The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (National Theatre, 1992 and at The Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End, later that year.) The production was nominated for six Olivier Awards, was winner of The Evening Standard Award for best comedy in 1992 and the Olivier Award for best comedy 1993. It opened on Broadway 1995. The award winning film Little Voice was adapted from the play. Jim made his directorial debut with Road at The Royal Exchange Theatre in 1995. He also wrote and directed I Licked A Slag’s Deodorant for the Royal Court at The Ambassador’s Theatre in London’s West End (1996), Prize Night for the Royal Exchange Theatre (1999), and Hard Fruit for the Royal Court Theatre (2000). A Christmas Fair Milton Rooms (2012), Mobile Phone Show National Theatre (2013), The Ancient Secret Of Youth and The Five Tibetans The Octagon (2015).


    Jim’s radio work includes: Baths (BBC, 1987), Sung (BBC, 2016).


    His television work includes: Road (BBC, 1987, winner of The Golden Nymph Award for best film); Vroom (Channel 4, 1988, selected as centrepiece at The London Film Festival); Wedded (BBC, 1990), and June (BBC, 1990). Jim produced and wrote Village (Channel 4, 1996), two films Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise (BBC, 2001) both directed by Danny Boyle, Johnny Shakespeare (BBC 2008), written and directed by Jim and winner of two Royal Television Society Awards. 2012, wrote and directed King Of The Teds, for SKY television, starring Brenda Blethyn, Alison Steadman and Tom Jones.


    His first Novel SUPERMARKET SUPERMODEL was published July 2008.


    He has been made an Honorary Doctorate of Bolton University and his old school Harper Green have named a building in his honour.


    Jim’s plays are published in England by Methuen and have been constantly in print since 1986. Many of his works are set texts for ‘A’ level and University courses.

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