Diana Vickers defys the critics in Little Voice

Diana Vickers appears to have defied the critics in her West End debut. The X Factor contestant has risen to the challenge in Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, taking on the lead role created for Jane Horrocks.

littlevoiceTerry Johnson's revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, first staged at the National in 1992, kicked off at the Vaudeville Theatre last night. Audience members were blown away. “It was absolutely amazing,” said a young girl. “I am almost in tears.”

It was to be an interesting opening, largely due to the casting of the young lead, 18 year old Diana Vickers of X Factor fame. Many questioned the suitably of Vickers taking on such a challenging role, but it seems she has confronted the critics head on.

While Vickers's acting may not have great range, it's winsome. And when she sings she soars

The London Evening Standard chief reviewer, Henry Hitchings, wrote: “While Vickers's acting may not have great range, it's winsome. And when she sings she soars… This is a feel good play, and Terry Johnson's production confidently hits the top notes.”

Michael Billington of the Guardian writes that Vickers “handles very well the transformation from withdrawn waif to vocal impressionist. She captures the glee of Garland in Get Happy, the boom of Bassey in Goldfinger, and the rolling consonants of Piaf. Vickers takes the stage with confidence, even if we are not surprised by her singing prowess.”

What's On Stage critic Michael Coveney agrees that it “is an extremely assured West End debut.” But he goes on to say that the real star of the show is Lesley Sharp as Mari “whose opening twenty-minute salvo of crass, crude self-absorption is the biggest blast on the West End stage, an amazing performance that is then sustained with brilliance and bravura.”

For more information on the show, visit www.littlevoicewestend.com

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