One of Britain’s greatest modern plays, The Rise & Fall of Little Voice, is embarking on a UK Tour next year. The Olivier Award-Winning comedy-drama from Jim Cartwright has earned international acclaim across the globe, including a Golden Globe winning smash-hit film starring Jane Horrocks and Michael Caine.
Meet Little Voice and Mari Hoff. A mother and daughter central to the heart of this Northern fairy-tale, but as far apart in character as can be. Little Voice leads a quiet and unassuming life, seeking companionship and joy from music’s most iconic singers, whilst Mari prefers the sound of her own voice, indulging in a life of booze, cheap thrills and seedy men. Left to her own devices, LV starts to embody the famous divas she plays on repeat, swapping the grey backstreets of Northern England for the bright lights of Hollywood and Broadway, all from the safety of her own bedroom. When Mari starts dating small-time club owner Ray Say, LV’sastonishing impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland to name a few, are thrust into the spotlight. Transformed and sensational, LV might just be Ray’s one and only chance to hit the big time, but what will the consequences be for mother and daughter?
Starring TV favourite Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinnerladies, Loose Women), British soap royalty Ian Kelsey (Emmerdale, Casualty) and ‘the girl of a thousand voices’ and two-time Drama Desk Award Nominee Christina Bianco, as Little Voice. Cartwright’s timeless and iconic tale explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world.
With humour, heart and countless powerhouse ballads all performed live on stage, featuring music from Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holliday and many more, this life-affirming production will rouse even the weariest of souls.
2022 UK Tour
Wed 23 – Sat 26 Mar 2022
Mon 28 Mar – Sat 2 Apr 2022
Mon 4 – Sat 9 Apr 2022
Mon 11 – Sat 16 Apr 2022
Theatre Royal Brighton
Mon 25 – Sat 30 Apr 2022
Mon 16 – Sat 21 May 2022
Theatre Royal Wakefield
Mon 23 – Sat 28 May 2022
Crewe Lyceum Theatre
Mon 30 May – Sat 4 Jun 2022
Mon 6 – Sat 11 Jun 2022
Mon 13 – Sat 18 Jun 2022
Tue 21 – Sat 25 Jun 2022
Mon 27 Jun – Sat 2 Jul 2022
York Theatre Royal
Mon 4 – Sat 9 Jul 2022
A two-time Drama Desk Award nominee, Christina made her West End debut starring in The Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville Theatre. Most recently, Christina played the iconic role of Fanny Brice at the Theatre Marigny’s celebrated production of Funny Girl in Paris.
New York credits include The Marvelous Wonderettes, the one-woman, multi-character comedy, Application Pending (Drama Desk Award Nomination), Newsical the Musical, and Forbidden Broadway Goes To Rehab (Drama Desk Award Nomination). Other professional credits include, The Narrator in Joseph…, Maureen in Rent, and Cunegonde in Candide.
Television credits include ITV’s The Imitation Game, POP TV sitcom Impress Me, Hallmark’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered and voice work for RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Bianco captured international acclaim as a YouTube sensation with her ‘diva’ impression videos, gaining over 25 million views. Dubbed ‘the girl of a thousand voices,’ Christina has performed on major television programs such as The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Today Show in the US, and The Paul O’Grady Show and This Morning in the UK.
Christina has performed her critically acclaimed concerts to sold out crowds in NYC and across the US. In the UK, she’s enjoyed extended runs headlining at London’s Hippodrome, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Live at Zedel’s, The Charing Cross Theatre, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and recently completed her second UK tour, titled First Impressions.
Christina frequently performs with major US and Canadian symphonies and performs her solo symphony show, The Woman Of A Thousand Voices, under the direction of Maestro Jack Everly. Christina’s live album, Life Of The Party, is available on iTunes and all major streaming platforms.
Shobna will soon be seen as Ray in the upcoming feature film Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. She became a household name for her role as Anita in Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies and as Sunita in Coronation Street. She trained at Manchester University, Trinity Laban, Goldsmith’s College, London, Darpana Academy for Performing Arts, India and has a postgraduate in teaching dance from Middlesex University.
Theatre credits include: Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith); Richard II (The Globe); Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (The Apollo Theatre and tour ); Daisy Pulls It Off (The Park); Anita & Me (Birmingham Rep/Touring Consortium); Grease (Leicester Curve); Mamma Mia International Tour 2015- 2016, Jon Godber’s April in Paris (Derby Playhouse/ National Tour); B!rth, Hunger for Trade, Come Closer Pretend You Have Big Buildings, Cafe Vesuvio (Royal Exchange, Manchester); How High is Up?, The Jungle Book, (West Yorkshire Playhouse); dinnerladies, Girl’s Night (National Tour), The Vagina Monologues (Mark Goucher Ltd); Romeo and Juliet, Crazy Lady (Leicester Haymarket, Contact Theatre ); The Mikado (New, Vic Stoke and Stephen Joseph Theatre) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tara Arts/National Tour) , Moti Roti Puttli Chunni, Blaggers, and D’yer Eat with Your Fingers? (Theatre Royal, Stratford East).
Film credits include: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (New Regency/Film4/Warp Films); Finding Fatimah (British Muslim TV); Junkhearts, (Dir. Tinge Krishnan) and BAFTA award winning short film, Shadowscan (BFI/Channel4/Disruptive Element Films).
She has also written and directed the critically acclaimed comedy show for young women The Masala Girls.
Television credits include: My Name is Leon (BBC); Murder They Hope (UKTV); 4Stories – On the Edge (Blacklight Productions); Doctor Who (BBC); Moving On (LA Productions); River City (BBC Scotland); Treasure Champs (CBeebies) Casualty (BBC); Doctors (BBC); Coronation Street (ITV), Hold The Sunset (BBC), In the Club (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), New Street Law (BBC), Magnolia (BBC), Paranoid (ITV1/Red/Netflix), You, Me and Them (UKTV Gold), The Slammer (CBBC), Jackanory (CBBC), Bedtime Stories (Cbeebies), Coming Up (Channel 4), Where The Heart Is (ITV1) and dinnerladies (BBC). As a panellist she was seen on Call My Bluff, Have I Got News For You, Countdown and was a regular on ITV’s Loose Women until 2014. She was a semi- finalist in Celebrity Masterchef for the BBC had appeared in Soapstar Superstar and Stars in their Eyes for ITV and soon to be seen in 2021 in Best Home Cook (BBC).
Documentaries include: RTS award winning River Walks (BBC1), Empire’s Children (Channel 4), Back In Time For Tea (BBC2), Disappearing and Discovering Britain (More).
Shobna has also worked extensively as a dancer and choreographer in regional theatres and also in community and education settings across the UK. Between 1992 and 1994 she was a dance animateur for Yorkshire and Humberside.
She has written her critically acclaimed memoir, Remember Me? Discovering my mother as she lost her memory, published by Octopus Books in September 2020.
She has an honorary doctorate from The University of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam University and is Chancellor of The Children’s University, Oldham. She is a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester.
Trained at Guildford School of Acting.
Ian’s television work as a series regular includes Vinnie Ashford, Coronation Street, ITV; Howard Bellamy, Doctors, BBC; Richard Mayne, Blue Murder, ITV; Jack Clayton, Where The Heart Is, ITV; Matt Brewer, Down To Earth, BBC; Dr Patrick Spiller, Casualty, BBC; Dave Glover, Emmerdale, ITV.
Other television includes: Jack Kelsey, Innocent 2 ITV; John Terry, Moving On, BBC; James Hamilton, Love Sick, Netflix; Brendan Newlyn, The Bill, ITV; Daniel, Dustbin Baby, BBC; John Fuller, Hotel Babylon, BBC; Liam Taylor, Murder In Mind, BBC; Karl Lang, Touching Evil, ITV.
Stage work: Billy Flynn, Chicago, China Tour; Frank Galvin, The Verdict, UK Tour; Professor Callahan, Legally Blonde, The Curve Leicester; Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption, UK Tour; Billy Flynn, Chicago, Cambridge Theatre West End; George, Same Time Next Year, Theatre Royal Windsor; Jud, Kes, West Yorkshire Playhouse; Danny, Grease, Cambridge Theatre West End; Leezy, Same Key As Frank, Garstang.
Film work: Joe Green, Black Beauty, Warner Bros.
Ian has written for the BBC’s Doctors and is currently writing a Children’s television series with drama school pal Justin Fletcher which will be going into production this year. His Behind the Scenes photography can be found on his instagram account @iankelseybehindthescenes