Little Women

Allan Knee (book) Jason Howland (music) Mindi Dickstein (lyrics) based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Assembly Rooms

Little Women Credit: Robert McFadzean/RCS

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been performing professional high quality productions since 2004. It is always a joy to see these musical theatre students over the years showcase their considerable talents.

They are producing two plays at the Assembly Rooms on alternate days: Godspell and Little Women.

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is the story of the four March sisters, living during the American Civil War in the 1860s. Their father has gone to war, leaving the family to cope on their own.

It is a happy, close-knit household with the sisters looking after each other with their mother (Emily Tracey). The feisty, strong-willed Jo (Lydia DeLuca) is determined to become a writer. The eldest Meg (Lucia Cerváin) brings order and is the voice of reason, whilst Beth (Kristina Fehse) is the sickly musical sister. The youngest is Amy, spoilt and artistic (Lorna Baxter), filled with pique and petulance.

They all sing beautifully, embracing their characters with enthusiasm.

Pien van Meegan is the severe Aunt Marsh who disapproves of her nieces and wants to take Jo on a European tour, which she refuses. Professor Bhaer (John Gurdian) is Jo’s landlord when she moves to New York and a romance smoulders. The love interest comes from Mr Laurence (Jared Alexander) and his grandson Laurie (Adam Makepeace).

There is so much to enjoy in this production: the beautiful costumes, a simple effective set both by deigned by Claire Halleran and some powerful choreography by Ruth Mills.

Ken Alexander’s assured direction brings laughter and pathos to this exciting production. The use of quilts or umbrellas with the time period written on them is a magical touch.

The splendid band under the direction of Jason Belanger creates a rich, moving sound.

This production should not be missed. It’s an absolute gem!

Reviewer: Robin Strapp