Louisa Alcott’s layered and episodic novel presents a challenge to anyone adapting it for the stage, particularly as a musical.
It is very much to the credit of the youthful cast of Clifton Academy’s Sound of Musical Theatre Company that the strong and affectionate bond between the four March sisters, which is the essence of Louisa Alcott’s book, shone through in every scene.
Erin Bannister, Megan Hill, Millie Quine and Alexandria Bury, as Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy, all sang tunefully, both individually and together, but it was actually the excellence of their acting which made the evening. American accents were immaculate.
Here Erin Bannister’s performance was outstanding, as she used her eyes, posture and gestures just as much as her words, to illustrate her spirit and her inner feelings.
Erin James as Marmee and Emilia Jurin as a spiky Aunt March both convinced in their portrayal of adults.
Archie Follett, Henry Follett, Lewis James and Nick Godfrey also commendably gave it their all, but were simply too young and physically small to be credible grown-ups.
Simple and effective staging, together with first class costumes, sound and lighting all backed up slick production by director Joe Appleton, but doubling up by the principals in the ensemble is best avoided.
Little Women – the Musical, Our Lady’s Centre