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Have a big night out at West End favourite

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

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TAKE a look at the shows in the West End, the theatre heartland of the UK, and you'll find plenty of musicals.

With an audience augmented by lots of visitors, the musical provides a universal language. Who doesn't like a bit of singing and dancing?

And this year here in Devon we are lucky to provide venues for many touring productions of some of the best from the London stages.

Next month the Olivier award-winning the Rise and Fall of Little Voice will come to the Princess Theatre at Torquay.

Written and directed by Jim Cartwright, it stars Beverley Callard as Mari Hoff, Ray Quinn as Billy, Duggie Brown as Mr Boo and Jess Robinson as Little Voice.

In this heart-warming northern fairytale, shy Little Voice spends most of her time immersed in her late father's record collection and perfecting her astonishing impersonations, much to the dismay of her fun loving, out-of-control mother Mari.

Overheard singing by Ray Say, a hapless talent scout and Mari's man of the moment, Little Voice is propelled to stardom as Ray sets about creating the show of the century in a dingy local working men's club.

With an agent from London coming and everything counting on this one performance, Mari and Ray's ticket to the big time rests squarely on Little Voice's shoulders. But has anyone asked Little Voice what she wants?

Featuring songs from some of the world's most iconic divas including Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland, this is a night of star-filled magic to remember.

Beverley Callard is best known as Coronation Street's Liz McDonald, a role she played for more than 21 years. She made her television debut in 1983 as Angie Richards in ITV's Emmerdale Farm, and the following year played the role of June Dewhurst in Coronation Street. In 1989 Beverley returned to Coronation Street, this time as Liz McDonald, and went on to become one of the Rover's Return's most iconic landladies.

Ray Quinn began his career in Channel 4's Brookside playing Anthony Murray, for which he won numerous awards including Best Dramatic Performance at the Soap Awards 2002. Ray is also well known as a finalist on ITV's award-winning reality programme The X Factor in 2006, in which he came second to Leona Lewis. In 2009 he also took part in and won ITV's Dancing On Ice. Ray's West End credits include Billy Kostecki in Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre and Danny in Grease at The Piccadilly Theatre.

Duggie Brown is an actor and comedian whose career spans five decades. Best known for starring in the Granada Television series The Comedians, his many other television credits include EastEnders and Hotel Babylon.

Jess Robinson is an actress, singer and impressionist. She is also no stranger to the role of Little Voice having previously played the role at London's Courtyard Theatre.

The Rise and Fall of The Little Voice plays at the Princess Theatre, Torquay, from February 25 to March 2. Ticket details: www.atgtickets.com/torquay or alternatively call 0844 871 3023.

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