Here is a first look glimpse at the Little Women – the March sisters from the much loved period novel which is being turned into a lavish BBC1 drama for a likely airing around the Christmas period.
The three-part dramatisation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 story which follows the four sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March on their journey from childhood to adulthood will see the main characters played by an ensemble of four young actresses.
Newcomer Maya Hawke takes the role of adventurous Jo, Willa Fitzgerald (Scream: The TV Series) will play the eldest daughter Meg, Annes Elwy (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams) will play Beth, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies) takes the role of the youngest sister Amy.
Harry Potter star Michael Gambon plays the family’s benevolent neighbour Mr Laurence with Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury taking on the part of cantankerous Aunt March.
The part of Marmee, the matriarch of the March family who helps the girls with their self-discovery, will be taken by Apple Tree Yard star Emily Watson.
Set against the backdrop of a country torn apart by the American Civil War, the story follows the lives of the sisters from childhood to adulthood as their father is away fighting.
The girls tackle what it means to be young women and the story touches on issues ranging from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage.
The new version has been adapted by Heidi Thomas, the writer and creator of Call the Midwife.
The story that has already been seen on the big screen, most recently in the 1994 film starring Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes and Kirsten Dunst.
Thomas said:“Little Women is one of the most loved novels in the English language, and with good reason. Its humanity, humour and tenderness never date, and as a study of love, grief and growing up it has no equal. There could be no better time to revisit the story of a family striving for happiness in an uncertain world, and I am thrilled to be bringing the March girls to a new generation of viewers.”
Executive Producer Colin Callender added: “This is a character study of young women rich in texture and detail and it’s an honour to be able to bring it to life in this extended form with the great Heidi Thomas, one of the finest writers working in television today.
The series is a co-production with Masterpiece on PBS and is expected to air on BBC1 around the Christmas period.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years writing for Stage newspaper, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.