Little women played by big sisters at the YPT

FAMILY VALUES: The cast of Little Women performing at the Young People's Theatre in Hamilton.
FAMILY VALUES: The cast of Little Women performing at the Young People's Theatre in Hamilton.

THE much loved theatre production of Louisa May Alcott has come to life at the Young People’s Theatre (YPT). 

The show, which combines both Little Women and Good Wives, opened at the Hamilton-based theatre in February. 

“Our concept for this production is based on family values and the power of memories,” company assistant and choreographer for the show Chelsea Willis said. 

“We have really incorporated that into our production by having a set of photo frames and drawing on our own family experiences to explore this beautiful story.

“It’s such a gorgeous story.” 

The four lead characters – the sisters – have been double cast, which sees the part of Meg March played by two young actors who alternate performances.

Taylor Reece, 19, and Brittany Biles, 18, both play Meg. 

Ms Reece is a veteran performing with more than 20 productions already under her belt. 

“I enrolled her (YPT) when I was seven or eight,” Ms Reece said. “I grew up doing productions and now I work with companies all over Newcastle.”

The role resonated with Ms Reece because she, like Meg, is a big sister.

“I have loved this story and musical for a long time,” she said. “I love playing a sister … and my younger sister is actually in the production as well. 

“A story about sisters who are so close is also close to my heart. There is a lot of things with that character that I can relate to.

The four sisters, they love to write stories and put on shows, in their childhood, putting on little plays.

“That is something my own sister and cousins always did. I grew up in a family that was passionate about story telling and theatre.”

Ms Biles has been with YPT for five years and is also a big sister in her own family. 

“Meg is so, so beautiful and she is so caring,” Ms Biles said. “I’m an older sister … and Meg is very motherly and I relate to her so much.

“I always have to make sure my younger siblings are not doing something really dumb.” 

Ms Biles said the opening night was a lot of fun.

“Everyone was just so excited to get this one the stage for people,” she said. 

Director Aaron Taylor has twice before directed the production, in Sydney and Maitland, before bringing it to YPT. 

Other members of the creative team have also had a long association with the production. Musical director Amber Lewis played Meg in the Maitland production, while assistant director Freya Meredith played one of the sisters in the same production. 

Little Women plays until February 24.