I am sure that everyone in the UK is as familiar with the story of Little Women as our American cousins are, with the recent BBC adaptation, numerous films over the years and a new Hollywood version to be made next year. But is the story of four sisters coming of age in civil war America still relevant, and frankly is it too twee for today’s audiences? I asked Carolyne, our director, and here’s what she said.
“Twee – definitely not!
It is a fast-moving family story, which just happens to be set in 19th century America, but deals with events that could just as easily effect modern day women. The four March girls Meg, Jo, Amy & Beth are like any sisters of any era; they create their own world of laughter, conflict, petty jealousies and secrets. It feels very ‘millennial’ in its dealing with issues like ‘can girls really just be friends with boys’; ‘ do you need money to be happy?’ and very relevant to the selfie generation ‘does the shape of a nose shape the rest of your life?’ It is a true ‘coming- of- age’ drama where despite all adversities, the sisters have an unbreakable bond which gives them great strength and unity. And in the year in which this play is set, they need that bond above all else when their undeniably cosy and yes, I’ll grant you, ‘sweet’ world is torn apart by encroaching war. There’s nothing twee about that!”
Carolyne has another clever trick up her sleeve as well with this show, putting in place a very clever mechanic to ground the play very much in the time of civil war and adding a new dimension to one of the quieter characters of the piece. I won’t spill the beans right now, and explain what it is – but suffice to say I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Tickets are on sale now, for performances from the 18th-20th October.