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Little Voice has big talent at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
The title tells you everything you need to know about the show, and, for that matter, this review.
Its success, or failure, is bound to be judged purely and simply on the vocal qualities of the actress playing Little Voice (LV).
Well worry not, those in charge of casting have chosen well and Jess Robinson is simply inspirational in the key role.
She really does take the show by storm.
A little slow to get going – about as pacey as Duggie Brown’s opening jokes in fact - but once it gets into its stride the main characters soon won the audience over.
Corrie-ex Beverley Callard is excellent as LV’s slighty too boozed-up, slightly too-leopard-skin clad, mum, ably supported by her ample neighbour Sadie (played by Sally Plumb).
Her latest in a string of fells picked up at the club, Ray Say is played by Joe McGann – again, a strong piece of casting.
The story will be well known to anyone who’s seen Jane Horrocks in the film of the same name.
Shy Little Voice hides herself away in her room with only her dead father’s old records and starts to impersonate her singing heroes.
Her startling talent is hidden until would-be talent scout Ray Say hears her sing.
He then sets out to plan her entire sparkling career – the trouble is he hasn’t mentioned any of this to her.
The first half of the show is well performed and very watchable, with just enough laughs and sets the scene well. The second half, however, sparkles into life as Jess Robinson is really allowed to show you what she can do – she really has got a quite remarkable voice.
There can obviously only be one star of this show but McGann and Callard play excellent supporting roles. Perhaps one weak link is the slightly awkward, ever-so-slightly cardboard, performance of Ray Quinn as Billy.
The set is perfectly designed for the piece and allows the actors to move around effectively.
A show worth seeing as it has discovered a star with a voice which is very much larger than the title suggests.
You can catch the show at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford until tomorrow night.
Visit orchardtheatre.co.uk for tickets