The adaptation of Louise M Alcott’s 1868 original story by HYT members Joan Leslie in 2002 and Di Mason and Charley Szentirmay for this production is only the start of the talents in the Hills Youth Theatre. To have around ninety young people aged between 6 and 19 years perform is testament to the director Di Mason’s ability and her tutors to have six groups merge into one.
The little women of the March family are Charlie Szentirmay as Margaret (Meg), Rose Vincent as Josephine (Jo), Audrey Coligan as Elizabeth (Beth) and Abigail Rayner as Amy. Their story is told through ages from youth, love, marriage, birth and bereavement. These four talented performers portrayed their individual and very different personas to perfection.
It is difficult to review every principal performer due to the size of the cast. Needless to say there was not a weak link in any of them. The one who pushed her stage presence however was Aspin Wood as Aunt March who whooshed onto the stage and took control with her authoritative aura.
The simple but very effective choreography was matched with the vocals of ‘Rock My Soul’ and other scenes that had the audience in awe, some with a tear in their eye during the funeral scene.
Breaking the fourth wall is something I do not usually like. However with a cast of this size it was necessary and effective. A credit to all who managed to escape the stage with alacrity on more than one occasion with no damage being done.
At times there was a small break in continuity which did not interfere with the show and when considering it was opening night and the age of some of the young performers it was overcome without any fuss.
The production team were also the stars of this production with the costumes on all ninety members of the cast being true to period and relative to each person’s position in life. The sets were outstanding and the seamless changes put each scene into perspective.
The HYT is to be congratulated on giving so many young people the chance to perform on stage and be part of a forward-looking company. The parents also become involved and therefore the future of the HYT is assured.
Come and see this show and be amazed at what is offered as true entertainment.