New Little Women stage adaptation to premiere at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Watford Palace

Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre are to premiere a new stage adaptation of Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott’s iconic novel will be brought to the stage by Anne-Marie Casey with Brigid Larmour directing the premiere production.

The show will open at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 21 July – 29 September and then transfer to Watford Palace Theatre from 11 – 22 October.

Making up the cast are Jessica Brydges (Meg March), Meg Chaplin (Beth March), Deirdre Davis (Aunt March), Amelia Donkor (Abigail “Marmee” March), Anna Fordham (Amy March), Rachael McAllister (Jo March), Tom Richardson (Professor Bhaer/John Brooke) and Richie Spencer (Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence)

The creative team is completed with design by Ruari Murchison, lighting design by Kate Bonney, music composed and directed/sound designed by Niroshini Thambar and movement directed by Saffy Setohy.

Published in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is one of the best loved novels of all time. By turns comic, dramatic, romantic, and tragic, the book was inspired by Alcott’s experiences growing up with her three sisters and is the story of the March family, mother Marmee and her daughters, beautiful Meg, strong-minded Jo, sensitive Beth, and spoilt Amy, as they struggle to survive in New England during the American Civil War.

Anne-Marie Casey’s adaptation of the classic story offers an exciting theatrical experience, guaranteed to be a night (or afternoon!) filled with laughter, tears, and a lifting of the spirits.

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Director and Watford Palace Artistic Director Brigid Larmour said: “Lockdown has had its weird upsides! It enabled collaborative zoom play readings in the ether between Pitlochry and Watford, attended by audiences as far afield as Shetland and Chicago. That led to a partnership to co-create on two major productions over the next two years, and share them between our two theatres, and nations.

“Little Women is loved by huge numbers of people, from Margaret Attwood to Patti Smith to Caitlin Moran. Anne-Marie Casey’s fresh, fast-moving take on this family isolated together at home, fractious and loving, tragic, and funny – took on a whole new meaning in lockdown! There is nothing chocolate-box about the show. It’s the best in period drama like Bridgerton, with some of the cheeky humour, and all the heart of Derry Girls.

“An earlier version of this script had two sell-out runs at Dublin’s Gate Theatre, and I think it’s the kind of joyous and engaging theatre we all need right now.’

Playwright Anne-Marie Casey added: “Like millions of others around the world, I first encountered Little Women as a child. Louisa May Alcott’s timeless tale of the triumphs and tribulations of the four March sisters and the headstrong Jo, who defies all expectations and obstacles to pursue an independent life as a writer, left an indelible impression upon me.

“It has been a privilege to adapt this funny, warm, poignant, and ultimately life affirming story for the stage, and I thank the Pitlochry Festival and Watford Palace theatres for bringing these wonderful characters to life in the UK premiere of this new production.”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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