HUGELY talented Katie Elin-Salt  is back in Bolton to reprise her role as Little Voice in Jim Cartwright’s comic tragedy The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

The gritty drama by the Farnworth playwright, characterised by its northern humour, social clubs and characters, was first staged at the Octagon Theatre in 2012, winning five star reviews.

The play is back in Bolton and has lost none of its star quality.

It has moved across the road to the newly refurbished Albert Halls, as the Octagon Theatre itself undergoes a transformation.

The traditional theatre charm of the Albert Halls becomes the perfect backdrop for Little Voice to stunningly recreate the songs of Shirley Bassey Judy Garland and those made famous by ultimate Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe.

Katie, just like those Hollywood’s starlets she impersonates, is forced into showbizz as everyone, but Sadie -brilliantly played by Sue Vincent - sees her as their ticket to fame and fortune. She captures beautifully and movingly Little Voice’s vulnerability, giving an uncomfortable insight into the darker side of the entertainment industry.

Directed by Ben Occhipinti, the play depicts the story of Little Voice who escapes her life  and -high maintenance - mother through singing impersonations of her late father’s favourite old songs by Bassey, Garland and Piaf.

Ben has captured perfectly the juxtaposition of raucous vulgarity and gentle sensitivity of this play, as depicted between Little Voice and Billy, played by Ashkay Gulati.

One of the most moving scenes is the “Romeo and Juliet” scene which, if not for the expert direction and the beautiful acting of both actors, could have lost its poignancy.

Ashkay is certainly an actor to watch.

TV favourite Sue Vincent is just excellent as Sadie, a woman of few words but steals the scene always - her dancing alone is a fabulous sight to behold.

Ted Robbins, who starred in Phoenix Nights as a club owner - is back as a club owner. Given his many roles in the world of entertainment, it is easy to forget what a great actor he is and has a great stage presence.

Sally George’s performance as Mari, captures the character’s vulnerability her fears which she disguises by her brashness and something which only shows in the second half. She is the object of laughter in the first half, delivering her vulgar lines with brilliant comic timing before her own tragic story is revealed in the second half.

Mark Moraghan is the man trying to make it big as Ray. His portrayal of guy who on the outset seems likeable before his manipulative nature and own desperation is revealed - a powerful, if at times uncomfortable to watch, performance.

The on stage chemistry between the actors is reflected in the brilliance of this complex but hugely entertaining and ultimately heartwarming play in which Little Voice finds her own voice!

Runs until February 2