Christina Bianco’s funny but realistic diva impersonations made her a YouTube sensation, and comparisons to Little Voice are nothing new to her.
She grew up in Manhattan listening to Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey and was still at high school when the Little Voice film was released in 1998, starring Jane Horrocks.
She said: “I loved that it was a dramatic but really funny film, and she was just like me, listening to classic records, doing these impersonations. When I found out it was a play I asked my dad to drive me to a bookshop in Manhattan so I could buy the script so I’ve had a copy ever since.”
Her character is quiet and spends her time locked in her bedroom listening to old school records that her late father left behind.
The music is her comfort, and she inadvertently develops great impressions of her favourite divas.
Her mum, Mari, played by Shobna Gulati (Dinner Ladies, Coronation St) is brash and boozy, always looking for a cheap thrill. When she brings home Ray - a sleazy club owner played by Ian Kelsey (Emmerday, Casualty) he thinks LV’s hidden talent can make them all rich and famous.
“But does LV really want that? “LV isn’t flashy and she isn’t a performer. The music is her comfort.”
Ms Bianco’s favourite part in the play is a scent where her character is blasting out a Judy Garland record to try and drown out the noise from downstairs. When the power goes out, LV finishes the song by singing it from exactly where the record ended.
“Ray and Mari are talking over me but hopefully the audience are kind of listening to my singing. It’s nice because I’m not centre stage, it’s supposed to be sounding like Judy Garland without being flashy. It’s the make or break part of the show.”
Jim Cartwright’s Olivier Award-Winning comedy-drama is a witty, gritty northern fairy tale packed with humour, heart and countless powerhouse ballads all performed live on stage, featuring the unforgettable music from Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holliday and many more.
Little Voice is on at Blackpool Grand from Mon 13 Jun - Sat 18 Jun 2022.