Reviewed by Dave Smith
Therry assembled a fine cast for their production of Little Women The Musical. Director Hayley Horton ensured that the relationship between the central characters was clear yet nuanced. That resulted in a strong and coherent performance.
Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age novel is suited to a musical adaptation. In this production the characterisation was secure and the singing superb. Musical Director Mark Delaine made sure that the orchestra and cast extracted every dramatic possibility from the music. Of the ensemble pieces,The Weekly Volcano Press, and Five Forever stood out.
The four March sisters were well balanced and differentiated. Rebecca Raymond was charming and poised as Meg, Millicent Sarre brought out the vulnerability of Beth and Emily Schwab was chirpy and self-absorbed as the youngest sister, Amy.
Catherine Hancock was enchanting and remarkable as Jo. She showed subtlety and empathy as her character developed, and brought a breadth of mood and intensity to her songs. Her tender duet with Beth Some Things Are Meant To Be, and her solos Astonishing and Sometimes When You Dream truly shone.
Trish Hart was sensitive and convincing as Marmee, while Ian Andrew as Laurie, Michael Denholm as Professor Bhaer and Lindsay Prodea as John brought strong voices and conviction to their roles.
The set, while functional enough, had some distracting elements, especially during scene changes, and some costumes could have been better fitting, but the strength of the main characters’ performances was what took and held the audience’s attention from start to finish.