As soon as I saw that Little Women was coming to London I knew I had to see it. It’s one of my favourite books of all time and one of the only books I’ve read multiple times. Plus I’m named Amy after the character.
This was my first visit to the Park Theatre, in Finsbury Park. It’s a small theatre which added to the experience as it felt very intimate. The set consisted of a bookcase with a fire and a ladder to get upstairs to the attic where Jo writes, was beautiful and transported you back to the 19th century.
Little Women follows the story of the March family, with their father away serving in the Civil War, it leaves ‘Marmee’ looking after her four daughters; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Meg is the eldest and most traditional of the four, she wishes for marriage and children in her future. Jo is an aspiring author, she is passionate, independent and fiery. Beth is shy and selfless, she looks after her sisters and will do anything for anyone. Amy is the baby of the family and begins as a child that is used to getting her way, but develops into an elegant woman.
Little Women must be one of the most remade films of all time, there are so many different versions of it. Growing up I loved the Elizabeth Taylor version of the film, and I really enjoyed the 2019 film too, Florence Pugh made me love the character of Amy, before this Jo was always my favourite.
However I’ve never seen a musical version before and didn’t really know what to expect. The musical version premiered on Broadway in 2005, with the book written by Allan Knee (adapted from the book written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868). With Music and Lyrics by Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein respectively.
I would say that although every member of the cast was extremely talented, and whilst I enjoyed the songs, none of them were particularly memorable. Whilst writing this review I’m struggling to remember how any of the songs go, which is not the best sign.
Jo was played by Lydia White exquisitely well. I was balled over by her energy, I think there were about two scenes that she did not appear in. The rest of the time she was onstage! Her enthusiasm is infectious and her voice is sublime.
One of the most touching parts of this show is the relationship between Jo and her younger sister Beth (played by Anastasia Martin). Their scene on the beach in Act II was a highlight with Beth saying “I’m not scared to die, the worst part is leaving you” – I do not think there was a dry eye in the house during this scene.
I thought it was a unique take to act out scenes from Jo’s plays as she reads them to the Professor. This provided more insight into the mind of Jo. Although I do believe perhaps too much attention is paid to Jo in this production, and we lose the value of the other sisters.
All in all, this is a beautifully put together show with an exceptionally talented cast, especially Lydia White. It’s just a shame we couldn’t see more of the other Little Women and get to know them better.
- You can now watch the filmed performance of Little Women at the Park Theatre on Broadway HD. Find the trailer and link below! Enjoy x
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