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Little Women

1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 1 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes

This version of the famous story of the March girls – Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy – in mid-nineteenth-century New England with their father away fighting in the American Civil War – was the first serialised work to be shown on British television, deviating from the standard single play format.

The fledgeling children’s department at the BBC had just recruited its first staff a few months earlier and this was the first drama to be made for children under its For The Children banner.

Little Women set the genre pattern for the first half of the 1950s at the BBC, before the advent of commercial television. The production was a straight retelling of a RADA stage adaptation, minimally reworked to fit the episodic serial format.

The six episodes were broadcast live and never recorded.

The book was adapted again by the BBC in 1958. One of Alcott’s sequels, Jo’s Boys, was also adapted soon after as a seven-episode serial in 1959.

Meg March
Sheila Shand Gibbs
Jo March
Jane Hardie
Beth March
Norah Gorsen
Amy March
Susan Stephen
Laurie
David Jacobs
Hannah Mullet
Anita Sharp-Bolster
Mrs March
Barbara Everest
Mr James Laurence
Wensley Pithey
John Brooke
Alan Bromly
Aunt March
Violet Gould
Mr March
Arthur Ridley