Little Women sisters act

Round & About

Gilbert White’s House

Enjoy an open-air production of Little Women in the lovely setting of Gilbert White’s house and gardens in Selbourne, writes Peter Anderson.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents an open-air production of Louisa M Alcott’s classic story, Little Women, about four sisters – Jo, Beth Meg and Amy – set against the backdrop of the American Civil War.

Producer Richard Main says: “The best thing, is each night, is like an opening night for the cast and the audience. At the beginning of the summer the sun is high in the sky and there isn’t a star shining, but as you work through the summer months, the whole atmosphere you are performing in changes. Unlike a theatre performance, outside the audience has a chance to relax and see friends in a garden setting and even during the show there is freedom to watch a show how they decide, which is quite different from being in a theatre.”

But what are the logistics like, I ask Richard? “It’s a business mind that kicks in rather than a strictly theatrical one and I love the creative process of putting the tours together and creating the opportunities for arts to be brought to people up and down the country,” he says, adding.

“I toured Shakespeare as an actor as well, and these were always open-air productions, so the passion for gardens and being out in the open to deliver some of the most beautiful words ever written just became a part of who I was. Chapterhouse Theatre Company was a culmination of years of hard work and learning and I am still amazed to find myself in the very privileged position of performing at some of the most glorious venues in the world.”

Little Women is a story full of love, in which hope will always ultimately win out over heartache and hardship. It’s on at Gilbert Whites House & Garden on Sunday, 26th August, please visit for more details