Liverpool’s PurpleCoat theatre company have friends in all the right places, partially funded by Stephen Fry and supported by Sir Ian McKellen, Richard Wilson and Con O’Neill. They’ve been enjoying something of a purple patch too (could be the coat, to be fair), having collaborated this year with the RSC and the InternationalYouth Arts Festival in London, playing Romeo and Juliet at the Rose Theatre.

Hot on the heels of a re-commission of their sell-out Titus Andronicus at the Unity Theatre, PurpleCoat are staging the heartwarming The Rise and Fall of Little Voice this Christmas – an evergreen comedy that should suit those of us who are, frankly, pantoed out.

The story (which you might remember from the excellent Michael Caine/ Jane Horrocks film adaptation) is a Jim Cartwright belter: a northern comedy with brass and class, telling the story of the painfully shy Little Voice, living in the shadows of her abusive mother, and seeking solace in her late father’s record collection.

We have no doubt this will seal a memorable year for the troupe – and confirm to the rest of us that fringe theatre is on the rise around here.


The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
The Lantern Theatre
December 20 to 22.
Tickets are available at www.lanterntheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0151 703 0000.