THE new UK touring production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice starring YouTube sensation Christina Bianco and soap stars Shobna Gulati and Ian Kelsey premieres in Southampton next week.

Meet Little Voice and Mari Hoff. A mother and daughter central to the heart of this Northern fairy-tale, but as far apart in character as can be. Left to her own devices, Little Voice starts to embody the famous divas she plays on repeat, from Judy Garland to Shirley Bassey, and becomes an overnight sensation.

With humour, heart and countless timeless classics all performed live on stage, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world.

READ MORE: Squeeze to play Southampton's 02 Guildhall in November

Jim Cartwright’s tender and life-affirming play won both the Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy when it premiered at the National Theatre in 1992 in a production directed by Sam Mendes which transferred to the Aldwych Theatre, starring Jane Horrocks and Alison Steadman. Horrocks later reprised the role of LV in a film adaptation also starring Brenda Blethyn, Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent.

It stars Christina Bianco (Funny Girl) in the title role alongside Shobna Gulati (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Coronation Street, Dinnerladies) as Mari Hoff and Ian Kelsey (Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors) as Ray Say.

Daily Echo:

Ahead of opening night on Wednesday (March 23), Ian Kelsey told the Daily Echo: "I have such fond memories of doing Grease at Mayflower Theatre. We did large venues for long periods so I got to know Southampton really well. And it’s by the sea, which I always like."

Christina Bianco added: "I’ve only ever been to Southampton traveling on and off of cruise ships so this will be my first time performing on land there! Thankfully, I’m spending a lot of time there because it’s where we’re building the show. I’m very much looking forward to it!"

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice runs until Saturday March 26. Tickets from or 02380 711833