The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Choose one production and explain how, as a member of the audience, you were affected by specific production elements?

In February 2004, I went to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester to see a production of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. As an audience member I found a lot of the production elements very affective.

The stage was in the round and to me this created more intimacy, as the actors were closer to the audience and on the same level. This was affective because I thought that the audience was more involved with the play this way and I felt that I was part of the story and part of LV’s audience for when she sings.

The stage had a record label in the center of it. To me, this showed that the play was mostly based on music. When LV was singing in the club the record label rotated. This was affective to me because not only could all of the audience see LV but it showed that her heart is in the music and that she needs to stop the record to get out of this quiet girl who gets walked all over that she has become i.e. she needs to confront her mother to get out of her rut and be who she wants to be. This also represented to me that the stage was just a view of the world in LV’s head; her world had just collapsed into the record and her life and mind revolves around her and he father’s love of music.

Each section of the record was a different room but each room still overlapped to create more intimacy. For example, two legs of LV’s bed were on her bedroom carpet and the other two actually on the pavement. To me, I thought that this frightened LV as she appeared to be a private person but even people walking along the street, outside her house, were still too close to her for her liking. This piece of set design was affective as to me as a member of the audience, I felt that passers-by and even the audience appeared to be in LV’s bedroom and maybe in her head and this made her even more insecure and private. This was affective to me as I live in a terraced house and this has just shown me that people walking by my house can be within 18 inches of me…even complete strangers and this is quite a scary thought.

LV has a certain route around her house and takes it quite a lot. There was a section of carpet leading from the bedroom to the living room and this represented the stairs. This was affective because there wasn’t another possible way of creating two floors as there were galleries in the theatre, yet there was still a strong image of there being two floors just because one small piece of carpet was so symbolic. The shape of the carpet was also in a stair-like shape. Also, it showed that she has these certain habits for security yet she is still trapped by them

LV’s Bedroom



Living room


The living room had a sofa, two chairs, and a coffee table with an ashtray on it, a television set, and a table for the TV to sit on. There were also 4 audience seats on stage next to one of the chairs. This invades the privacy of whoever is sitting in the living room.

The kitchen had a sink with a fridge underneath it and a kettle; there was also a table with two chairs. There was also a huge telegraph pole in the kitchen too. To me, this symbolised the electricity failing and also the excuse of LV going out of her room, the only place that she feels safe, and exposing herself to people. This was affective because it showed that LV does have some courage and that she doesn’t jut trap herself in her room. This telegraph pole also dominated the set as there was a part of it all around – the wires ran over the heads of the audience. This was