The Rise and Fall of little Voice – Reject Theatre Company, Headgate Theatre, Colchester
Up in her room Little Voice, is a quiet as a mouse Northern lass-next door who barely speaks but roars to life whenever she plays the records of Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland or Edith Piaf, impersonating them perfectly.
Downstairs her mum Mari is getting drunk and trying to find perceived happiness with her wide-boy lover and wannabe 'Agent to the Stars', Ray Say. Mari was played beautifully by Robin Gowers who has the funniest and dirtiest of the dialogue as well as delivering sayings and phrases incorrectly, she also brought us some heart-stopping emotion in the darker moments of the story. Barry Hester as Ray was sleazy, slippery and skin crawling perfect, The scene where he convinces LV to comply to his plans is magnificently done but he truly came into his own in his drunken singing during Act 2.
Kieran Bacon as Billy has a shyness which matches LV’s and their scenes where he nightly visits her bedroom window were some of the most endearing of the whole show.
Diana Easton’s character, Sadie, who says very little beyond ‘OK’ and other one-line responses, is the unsung hero of the piece when she provides a level of comfort when Mari is too wrapped up in her own life to care. Diana was perfectly cast and was able to bring the best out of this character.
Kevin Richards in his ridiculous wig as Mr Boo, is the lame comedian/host of the club where Little Voice is forced to perform, was a strong performance and articulated the shows moral, "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"
And what can I say about Tamara Anderson as Little Voice herself, as the timid LV you almost feel like watching her, seems to be an intrusion? Tamara is captivating, she mastered the two sides of this role especially with her ability to do impressions of such well recognisable voices which was so impressive. In particular, her vocalisation at the end of the show when LV becomes her own woman and sings in her own voice was perfectly balanced and touched the heart just as it should.
Everything about this show – the set, the technical aspects, the shorting fuse were all so well executed. I strongly recommend that if you haven’t got tickets for the final performances then you should definitely get some – you won’t be disappointed.