Review | Little Women

Theatre Review

Little Women

Young People’s Theatre and Lindsay Street Players, at Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton

Ends February 24

THE script of this musical theatre adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women makes demands on the performers that the cast here handle very well, making it engaging and enjoyable.

The writing team (Allan Knee, script; Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein, songs) have tried to include too much of the book and its sequel, Good Wives, so that the characters, particularly the title four sisters, are two-dimensional. Fortunately, the actors give needed colour to the people they are portraying and brightness to the songs that reveal more about their lives than the dialogue. And the alternating two young teams cast as the sisters and a boy who is attracted to more than one of them have audience members swinging in their seats in most of the songs. 

The story is set in the 1860s during the American Civil War, with Jo (Jordan Warner, Kaylia Roberson), a would-be writer trying to get stories published in New York, recalling her home life in rural town Concord.

Jo returns home when her mother has to go to the hospital bedside of her husband, a Union Army chaplain.

Her sisters – Meg (Taylor Reece, Brittany Biles), Beth (Jasmine Phipps, Martha Reece), and Amy (Kirrilee Davies, Bronte Horswood) – have very different natures and ambitions, and these come out well in songs including Astonishing, which has Jo recognising the nature of her abilities, and Five Forever.