THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE Opens Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre Summer Season

One of the UK's best-loved plays, Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, opens the summer season at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in June.

Winner of both the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy, the show tells the story of LV, who spends her days trying to avoid her domineering mother and listening to her late father's record collection, all the while perfecting impressions of singers including Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. When Mari's latest boyfriend, talent scout Ray Say, hears her remarkable voice, he wants to make her famous - and himself rich.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is directed by the SJT's Artistic Director Paul Robinson, who says: "This is a play that's very special to Scarborough audiences after the major hit movie was filmed here in the mid-90s. Our production is also set here, so we like to think of it as Little Voice coming home. I'm so excited about our LV, Serena Manteghi - I can't wait to see the looks on our audience's faces when they hear her sing!"

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice goes into rehearsal on 15 May with a cast of six: Laura Crowhurst, Polly Lister, Serena Manteghi, Sean McKenzie, Gurjeet Singh, Siôn Tudor Owen.

The title role of LV is played by Serena Manteghi. Serena last worked with director Paul Robinson on his critically acclaimed production of My Mother Said I Never Should (St James Theatre) last year. She starred as Bobbie in Damien Cruden's production of The Railway Children which played live at the purpose-built King's Cross Theatre in 2015.

Polly Lister is LV's overbearing mother, Mari Hoff. Polly was a UK Theatre Award winner for her portrayal of Beverley in Abigail's Party at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, in 2015, and earlier this year performed her own one-woman show, I Was A Wife, at the Duke's Theatre, Lancaster.

Sean McKenzie plays talent scout Ray Say. Sean was last seen at the SJT in 1994 in Two Weeks with the Queen. He toured the world for 18 months in 2014/15 as Sergeant Thunder in the epic War Horse, and last year played various roles in the National Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Siôn Tudor Owen is nightclub owner Mr Boo. He has appeared extensively on TV and in films, including the original 1986 Highlander, One Chance, and as Brynn Bevan in Submarine. Recent theatre includes West Side Story for the Ambassador Theatre Group and White Christmas at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Gurjeet Singh plays LV's admirer, electrician Billy. Gurjeet was recently seen in Meat Pie, Sausage Roll at the Oldham Coliseum, and will shortly appear in a major BBC One drama, Three Girls, directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe.

Laura Crowhurst plays Mari's friend, Sadie. Laura played The Duchess in Oliver Lansley's immersive Alice's Adventure's Underground at The Vaults beneath Waterloo Station in 2015, and will shortly be seen as Amber in series two of the hit BBC drama, Doctor Foster.

Director Paul Robinson trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He then received an Arts Council Directing Bursary at The Manchester Royal Exchange. He was selected to attend the National Theatre's Advanced Directors' Course and was then Staff Director at the National Theatre for three years.

Paul was Joint Artistic Director of Theatre503 from 2007 to 2012, when the theatre was turned into a multi-award-winning new writing powerhouse. He took on sole leadership of Theatre503 from 2012, introducing the Trafalgar Transfer season and the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award. He has been twice nominated for Best Artistic Director at the Off West End Awards. Paul's recent productions of And Then Come the Nightjars, A Handful of Stars and Land of Our Fathers all received huge critical acclaim and garnered a total of 12 Off West End Award nominations, including Best Director. The latter was recently made into a feature-length film.

Paul's creative team comprises designer Tim Meacock, who also designed the hit show Pinocchio at the SJT last Christmas; lighting designer Jason Taylor, who has worked on many productions at the SJT; and musical director, Scarborough-born Simon Slater, who also worked on Pinocchio and last year was musical director for the hugely acclaimed National Theatre production of Amadeus.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice can be seen in the Round at the SJT, in rep, from Thursday 15 June to Saturday 19 August. Tickets, priced from £10 to £25, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com.

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