Actress Georgina Ambrey is making her professional stage debut as Little Voice in Theatre by the Lake’s production of Jim Cartwright’s powerhouse of a play, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which opens in the theatre’s Main House on 6 June.
Originally written for the stage, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was first performed at the National Theatre in 1992, directed by Sam Mendes, with Jane Horrocks playing Little Voice and Alison Steadman playing Mari. The show transferred first to the West End (winning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy), and then to Broadway in 1994. The film adaptation, Little Voice, again starring Jane Horrocks with Brenda Blethyn as Mari, was released in 1998.
Little Voice has a hidden talent. Alone in her room with only her dead father’s record collection for company, she sings along with the greatest divas of the 20th century with a voice that’s pure gold.
Downstairs, hard-drinking mother Mari’s on the rampage – she’s after booze and a working phone line. When her latest squeeze Ray overhears LV’s secret talent, he realises she may be his ticket to hit the big time. But LV is painfully shy and she’ll need to conquer more than her stage-fright if she’s going to find her own voice in the world.
Funny, brutal, beautiful and sad, this Northern comedy is packed with sensational tunes, bold humour and a gentle heart.
Theatre by the Lake’s production is directed by Zoë Waterman, who has directed several times at TBTL, most recently the 2017 production Remarkable Invisible. The cast includes Georgina Ambrey as Little Voice, Emily Pithon as Mari, Luke Murphy as Billy, and Chris Porter as Ray Say, with Asha Kingsley as Sadie, Eric Potts as Mr Boo, and Dominic Gately as Phone Man. The Musical Director is Greg Last, and the show includes classic songs made famous by greats such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and Billie Holliday.
Georgina Ambrey graduated from the Drama Centre in London in 2018, followed by eight weeks at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute in Russia. As well as her lead role in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, she’s also performing in My Mother Said I Never Should and Dear Uncle.
Of performing as Little Voice she said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to also be able to sing in a drama. I’ve been listening to the songs of these amazing female icons and really enjoying becoming familiar with each of them. The songs are wonderful and it is such a privilege to be able to perform them. That’s not to say it isn’t a huge challenge! I am working with the musical director to really get a feel and sound for these women.
She continued: “There can’t be a more idyllic place to be working; Keswick is such a lovely town surrounded by stunning scenery. I feel so at home here already – it’s a delight to get up each day and head into work!”
Director Zoë Waterman added: “Little Voice is a wonderful story about people trying to survive, to find hope and follow their dreams in a northern town in the late 1980s. It is driven by two absolutely wonderful female characters, and even when just read off the page can make me both laugh out loud and cry – it delivers a sucker punch to the guts while making you howl with laughter and serenading you with the most wonderful music. For both drama and musical lovers, it’s not one to miss.”
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice plays in Theatre by the Lake’s Main House from 6 June to 1 November. Tickets are from £10; for more information and to book tickets visit www.theatrebythelake.com or call the Box Office on 017687 74411.