Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott

directed by Sheana Carrington

Performed at the

Nuffield Theatre


Tuesday 27th to Saturday 31st January 2009

The show was a resounding success and played to full houses almost every night of the run.

The Evening Echo said...

It is interesting to note that Louisa May Alcott once dismissed this sort of work as moral pap for the young, but her famous story remains hard to resist, even today, and the audience’s enjoyment of this show was unmistakable.

The whole cast performed extremely well and were ably supported by a nicely detailed set, sumptuous costumes and even some rather pleasant piano music between the scenes. Mrs March (Maria Head) gives her four daughters plenty of uplifting lectures and some bite is added to the general sweetness by Angharad Price’s pettish Amy and Ros Liddiard’s formidable Aunt March.

There are also occasional aggressive outbursts from tomboy Jo, played by Ruth Kibble with lanky humour and great emotional range. Hazel Burrows, as the family’s maid, is also noteworthy, for a seamless performance that earns laughs for the most unlikely lines.

Ham Quentin

A note from the director

'Little Women' was always a favourite of mine, reading and re-reading the story throughout my early years. I discovered that in America 'Little Women' and 'Good Wives' are always read or performed together, whilst in the UK they are separate books. There were two other books to follow, 'Little Men' and 'Jo's Boys' (my favourite - a real 'weepy' in which Jo runs an orphanage for wayward boys).

Louisa May Alcott based the story on her own early life and that of her sisters. She was an aspiring writer and composed plays for herself and her sisters to act in. 'The Witch's Curse' included in 'Little Women' was first performed by the Alcott sisters!

I realise that for some the story is too sentimental for their taste, but the fact remains that it continues to enchant successive generations of devotees.

Sheana Carrington

An American 1860s Christmas

Over the last couple of months during rehearsals, I have been asked if the Americans had Christmas trees in the 1860s, and if so, what were they decorated with. For those who are keen to know - in the Cody's Magazine publication in 1850 an article and illustration depicting the British Royal Family celebrating around the Christmas tree is generally seen as a seminal event in the ultimate American adoption of this German custom (Prince Albert of course was German). Successive waves of German immigrants seeking to recreate a bit of his homeland in his new surroundings were responsible for the decorated tree. It was so established, that a 'German tree' was placed at the White House by President Franklin Pierce in 1856. Traditionally the Germans always put their tree on a table and decorations for the Christmas tree were usually edible - chains of popcorn, biscuits etc. Later, in the mid 1860s, Germany would change that fashion due to the popularity of glass blowing, which expanded to include delicate ornaments and baubles.

The German settlers in Pennsylvania decorated trees and the custom of 'trimming the tree' spread rapidly throughout the world. I have decided that our Christmas tree is to be trimmed with edible treats and glass baubles and beads, and the star is definitely homemade! I like to think that Amy, being the artistic one, would have made this.

The life of Louisa May Alcott

Louisa was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29th 1832. It is an interesting fact in connection with her life and death that Miss Alcott and her father were born on the same day of the month and that they died within 24 hours of one another.

The parents of Louisa moved to Boston when she was two years old and she made her home around that area. She was educated as a schoolteacher under the tutelage of her father, and Henry Thoreau, a transcendentalist philosopher. Louisa was 16 when she began to teach in a private school - but she was not happy and preferred to write sketches and short stories.

When the Civil War broke out Louisa was one of the army of noble women who went to the front to engage in service as a nurse, but was obliged to give up hospital work after contracting typhoid fever. Recovering from this she then made a trip to Europe, accompanying an invalid friend. A year later, in 1868, on her return to the family home, 'Orchard House' in Concord, she wrote 'Little Women', the tale of a year in the life of a New England family. She had woven so much of her own earlier life, and that of her family - everyone with the exception of Aunt March had a prototype - that fact and fiction grew firmly together to create a domestic novel, which went far beyond its setting. It became a resounding success. She was feted in fashionable drawing rooms. From childhood, she was always an enthusiastic amateur actress, and was a constant theatregoer. It must have been thrilling for her to meet Ellen Terry and also a very young Oscar Wilde whilst in New York.

Louisa never married, but continued to look after her father. She died on March 7th 1888.

The Cast
Amy March Angharad Price
Beth March Joanna Russell,
Jo March Ruth Kibble
Meg March Eleanor Marsden
Hannah Hazel Burrows
Mrs March (Marmee) Maria Head
Aunt March Ros Liddiard
Laurie Lewis Brunt
Mr Lawrence John Souter
Mr March lan Wilson
Mr Brook Michael J.S. Mears

For the Maskers
Director Sheana Carrington
Production Manager Ken Hann
Stage Manager Ken Spencer
Set Design Ken Spencer, John Hamon
Wardrobe Serena Brown assisted by Susan Wilson
Lighting Designer Clive Weeks
Lighting Operators Jamie McCarthy, Mark Harvey
Sound Recordist Geoff Grandy
Sound Operator Stuart Gray
Properties Ella Lockett, Gill Buchanan
Assistant Stage Managers Liz Hill, Alison Tebbutt, Geoff and Pam Cook
Set Dressing Adam Taussik, Sarah Russell
Drapes Sophie Carrington
Set Construction Roger Lockett, Graham Buchanan
Marketing and publicity Angela Stansbridge ,Pam & Geoff Cook, Geoff Wharam, Sarah Russell
Publicity Design John Hamon
Programme Coordinator Sandy White
Photography Clive Weeks
FOH Coordinator Pete Hill
FOH Display Paula Beattie
Transport Roger Lockett
Other backstage and FOH duties Members of the Company
Box Office and Catering The Nuffield Theatre


click on a photo to enlarge it


Thank You

Your message has been sent. You should receive a confirmation email shortly. If the email does not arrive it is possible that your email address was not entered correctly, please try resubmitting your enquiry.

Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

 Contact Us


Our postal address is: Maskers Theatre Company, Unit 1, Off Emsworth Road, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 3LX

General Enquiries Form

Please use this contact form for contacting us about any issue. Use the drop-down list to ensure your enquiry gets directed to the correct person.

Any contact details provided will only be used in relation to your inquiry and will be deleted after conclusion.

 Support Us

 Join Us

Join our Email list
and receive updates
about our shows

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Are you a member of Maskers Theatre Company?

The Maskers Theatre Company will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing by email. Please confirm you would like to hear from us by ticking the box below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


 Update Contact Details

Other local theatre events

Some of our performance venues:
Maskers Studio Theatre
The Berry Theatre
Townhill Park House

View our Image Gallery

Access Members Site (Maskers Members only)