(4 / 5)
“Director Kate Wasserberg masterfully merges the humorous with the harrowing in Theatr Clwyd’s current revival of Cartwright’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.”
The script itself – scathingly raw and rife with a complex combination of dark humour and revolting sexual innuendoes, though nevertheless appealing and often rich with tenderness and sentimentality – is conveyed with tremendous sensitivity by each performer. So much so that each of the actors – all brilliant – all awe-inspiring, perform with such a natural truthfulness, that I remain wholly entranced by each throughout this production.
The set was intricate and intriguing – with the placement of LV’s personal space and the remainder of the house distinctly separate and isolated. Impressively, the mere house was swiftly transformed into a spectacular nightclub.
However, it is Nicola Reynold’s performance as Mari, which was, above all else, an afflicting depiction of vulgarity and vulnerability. Initially, I deplored Mari’s neglectful and resentful attitude towards her daughter, but her gradual deterioration and eventual breakdown left me empathetic and with an aching heart. Though, sometimes I felt her performance to be too intensely revolting.
The character of Billy, though perhaps not the most significant character of the play, this particular interpretation shines with an awkward charm and perfect like-ability.
Though, undoubtedly, it was Catrin Aaron’s LV, arguably echoing the brilliance of Jane Horrock’s earlier performance of the same character that demanded recognition for its exceptional, glorious splendour. Shifting effortlessly from meek to magnificent, with impersonations that could quite truly be mistaken for the voices of Garland, Monroe and Piaf.
The production plays until the end of October at Theatre Clwyd.