There were popstars aplenty at the Vaudeville Theatre last night (20 October, previews from 8 October), as Take That's Mark Owen turned out to support X Factor finalist Diana Vickers as she made her stage debut in Terry Johnston's revival of Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

Owen, who co-wrote a new closing number for the show, "Sunlight" (See News, 16 Oct 2009), told journalists afterwards: ''I'm loving the show, it's really good ... she sounds fantastic.''

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice concerns a painfully shy, diminutive Little Voice (LV - the role created by Jane Horrocks), who lives alone in the north of England with her mother, Mari. Mari’s drunken, overbearing personality has driven LV into seclusion in her bedroom, where she listens to her late father’s records and has perfected faultless impersonations of the greatest divas, including Judy Garland and Dame Shirley Bassey.

When Mari’s latest boyfriend, small-time working men’s club impresario Ray Say, overhears LV singing, he puts in place a tragic sequence of events as he pushes her towards stardom she doesn’t want and is literally terrified of.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF LITTLE VOICE’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

Vickers is joined in the cast of the new production by Lesley Sharp (as Mari), Marc Warren (Ray Say), Rachel Lumbert (Sadie) and the playwright's 24-year-old son James Cartwright (Billy). Little Voice is designed by Lez Brotherston, with musical supervision by Nigel Lilley, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Ian Dickinson. It's produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer, TFP, Josephine Genetay.