The Director’s View:

The Rise & Fall of Little Voice

Director Charlotte Benstead talks about her latest production, showing next week in the Upper Hall at Stanley Halls.

So Charlotte, whatever possessed you to want to direct a show about a girl with a dead dad and an overbearing mother?!

Ha! I guess it’s good to work with what you know. Jim Cartwright’s writing is so good – funny and moving and honest. The play is essentially about being stuck in grief. It is about relationships, friendships, regret and ambition – and there is some heavy petting – so it has all the things a great drama should, plus some killer tunes.

When is it set ?

I like detail in a set and giving actors context, so we have been very specific about the year – it is 1987. So that was the year of Cynthia Payne, the brothel madam, and Harvey Proctor (the disgraced ‘spanking’ MP); Andy Warhol died, the great storm (which brought a hurricane to the UK) and the tragic Kings Cross fire happened, and Thatcher won another election. There were also terrible clothes and hair. Big hair.

Where is it set?

In typical London fashion I have said “The North”. We are lucky in that we have some actors from outside of London who are hot on accents and phrasing. The play has Lancashire, Lowry and the League of Gentlemen influences. I am staging it in a very intimate way – you are invited into Mari’s home.

The show is a play with music and there are some great performances. Musical Director Peter Bond has been shaping the club elements and it is looking and sounding good. We get to hear great diva’s of our time from Billie Holliday to Dolly Parton.


The Rise & Fall of Little Voice opens at Stanley Halls on Tuesday July 25 for 5 nights plus a Saturday matinee. Tickets can be bought in advance here.

4 of the 6 Performances of this production have already SOLD OUT.

Rehearsal photographs by Bryon Fear & David Carr