Juliet Forster’s production of American classic Little Women confirmed for Theatre Royal autumn season. Who’s in the cast?

York Theatre Royal creative director Juliet Forster

SCREENWRITER, novelist and playwright Anne-Marie Casey’s adaptation of Little Women will lead York Theatre Royal’s autumn season. Tickets for a special fundraising gala on October 2 go on sale today.

Running on the main stage from September 21 to October 12, Theatre Royal creative director Juliet Forster’s production will offer a fresh take on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 coming-of-age novel set in Massachusetts, New England, where headstrong Jo March and her sisters Meg, Beth and Amy grow up during the American Civil War.

“We are thrilled to be staging an adaptation of such a much-loved classic,” says Juliet. “Louisa May Alcott’s story of Jo and her sisters finding their way in the world is so relatable to modern audiences and Anne-Marie Casey’s brilliant adaptation really brings to life the wonderful characters. We have such a great cast lined up and I can’t wait to get started later this year!”

Leading the cast as Jo March will be Freya Parks, who this year starred as bass-playing record shop worker Fiona in the BBC television series This Town and played Logan Somerville in an episode of the ITV detective drama Grace. 

Ainy Medina will play Meg, after appearing in ITV’s Archieand Helen Chong, from Cassie And The Lights, will be Amy.

Easingwold-raised Laura Soper, once a member of York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre before training at Bristol Old Vic, will return to the stage where she appeared in Hetty Feather and Swallows And Amazons, Damian Cruden’s last Theatre Royal production in 2019 after 22 years as artistic director. Fresh from touring with Pride And Prejudice* (*Sort Of), she will take the role of Beth.

Returning to the Theatre Royal too will be York actress Kate Hampson, playing Marmee after taking the title role in the August 2022 community production of Maureen Lennon’s The Coppergate Woman. Her other stage roles include Mother/Mrs Perks in The Railway Children at Hull Truck Theatre in 2021.

A third returnee will be Caroline Gruber, linking up again with Juliet Forster to play Aunt March after appearing as Vashti in her York Theatre Royal Studio production of E M Forster’s The Machine Stops in 2016. Nikhil Singh Rai’s Laurie completes the casting by Ellie Collyer-Bristow.

The Theatre Royal show is presented in association with Pitlochry Festival Theatre, by arrangement with Lee Dean, and is designed by Ruari Murchison.

The October 2 gala performance will raise vital funds for York Theatre Royal’s continued work as a producing theatre and for the development of future community projects.

Members’ priority booking for the rest of the performances will open on July 3; tickets will go on general sale on July 8 at 1pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Did you know?

ANNE-MARIE Casey’s stage adaptation of Little Women premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in November 2011.