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Big success for start of open air season at Lytham Hall

Little Women, at Lytham Hall. The death of Beth
Little Women, at Lytham Hall. The death of Beth
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Having lived overseas I know a bit of what it’s like to be in a minority - and at times I felt echoes of that during the first open air performance of the year at Lytham Hall.

I suppose it should be expected that an adaptation of Little Women would attract more female theatregoers than male - but surely the groups of WI and Soroptimists accentuated things - while also helping to raise audience numbers, which were up by 50 per cent on this time last year.

Once again standards were high at Lytham Hall. The Chapterhouse Theatre Company production was fast-paced and the performances (with several actors taking on multiple roles) were memorable.

The action was lighter and more ‘coming of age’ in act one with events taking on a convincingly darker and at times tragic turn in the second half.

Perhaps the finest moment of acting and direction came during the Beth death scene - with her soul seeming to depart the grief-stricken, God-fearing stage.

Praise too should go to the use of music. This served to keep up the pace and to set the scene of Civil War-era America. There is a lot of story in Louisa May Alcott’s novel to squeeze into one evening and music provided an effective means of showing the passing of time, such as going from courtship to marriage in seconds.

Luckily, occasional drizzle didn’t spoil the fun. Next it’s the Merchant of Venice on July 8.