'The rise and fall of little voice': Jim Cartwright - How were the skills of the actors and designers used in an interesting way?

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Jessica Scott 5S.

‘The rise and fall of little voice’: Jim Cartwright.

How were the skills of the actors and designers used in an interesting way?

‘The rise and fall of little voice’ was written in 1989 by Jim Cartwright for Jane Horrocks, because of her wonderful impressions. It us set in the north of England and has been described as a northern fairytale. Although it is essentially naturalistic, the production which we saw had non-naturalistic elements.

 The set design was very impressive. The whole set was based around the theme of records, it was a big record with the centre being ‘His masters voice’ Judy Garland at Carnegie hall. It is interesting to note that Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minelli’s relationship was much like that of Mari and L.V, they are linked by alcohol abuse, chaos and disorder. The centre piece also acted as the stage on which L.V performed at Mr. Boo’s club. Whilst L.V performed, the rest of the set would be in total darkness apart from a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling and rotating in the opposite direction to L.V. so that the audience feel as if they are the ones moving. The only light would be a spotlight on L.V which changes colour with each song and impersonation that she does, setting the mood, and changing the character.

From the centre piece, different sections came off. The audience sat around the stage and on different levels. In each of the different sections was a different room in L.V’s house. Each room was very detailed and realistic even though it had the non-naturalistic setting of an old record. The walls of the house were on the floor, on the outside of the record, it was as though the walls of the house had collapsed.

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 Different parts of the house can be compared to either Mari or L.V. The lounge and kitchen represent Mari’s life, chaotic and full of disorder. The living room is decorated with bright colours, with animal print cushions it is faded and tacky. Mari’s life is represented by the room using the coffee table. It is full of rubbish, ash trays, cigarette packets, empty bottles of alcohol and glasses, a total mess. The laundry basket nest to the armchair is full of dirty laundry, all the washing is tied together which is comical as Mari has ‘her knickers in a twist’, ...

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