Lacey Trotman reviews Little Women in Black, an intergalactic spin on Louisa May Alcott's classic story at The Wardrobe Theatre for Christmas 2021. 

On a frosty Thursday evening, the kind where you can see your own breath, I headed to the Old Market area of Bristol to see a parody musical mash-up like no other. The venue? Thriving arts hub and fringe studio, The Wardrobe Theatre (based in the Old Market Assembly). Housed in an old bank building, this was my first visit to the theatre and as soon I stepped in - I knew I was in for a good night!

A sign to The Wardrobe Theatre
Image: Sign points to the theatre. Credit: Visit West.

The bar was buzzing pre-show. I was thrilled to spot mulled cider was on offer and quickly placed my order. That evening, on the way to the theatre, I had stopped off at Finzel's Reach Christmas Market and caught a glimpse of some of the Christmas Adventures illuminations. It's safe to say, I was feeling festive! Served in a china tea cup and saucer, the warm beverage defrosted my numb hands and, as the bell rang for the start of the show, I was glad to be able to take the drink in with me to the theatre itself.  

So what is The Wardrobe Theatre's Christmas offering this year? Little Women in Black, of course! An intergalactic meeting of literary classic Little Women and the Men in Black film franchise. Known for their brand new alternative, adult comedies, past titles are just as punny (Drac & Jill, Oedipuss In Boots, Reservoir Mogs, Rocky Shock Horror and Muppets Die Hard)!

Little Women In Black by The Wardrobe Theatre (photo credit Jack Offord)
Image: Little Women In Black by The Wardrobe Theatre. Credit Jack Offord.

Running until 16 January 2022, this anarchic show is very much an adult-only affair! Ripe for Millennials, this all new production (directed by Julia Head) injects Louisa May Alcott’s novel with lots of swearing, space and a sweet 90s soundtrack. 

Desperate to seek out life beyond their 1860s Massachusetts homestead, the much-loved March sisters are impatient to prove themselves. An inadvertent close encounter with aliens allows them to do just that - what's more impressive than saving the world, after all? They must now swap their needlework for neuralyzers (it didn't look like Beth was ever going to finish hers anyway) and stop Planet Patriarchy. Unfortunately, it seems like the threat is a lot closer to home. Time to don the black sunglasses and grab a laser cannon, it's about to get messy!

Little Women In Black by The Wardrobe Theatre (photo credit Jack Offord)
Image: Little Women In Black by The Wardrobe Theatre. Credot: Jack Offord.

The talented, hard working cast of just four actors - Tesni Kujore, Jessikah Wilson, Jenny Smith and Tom Fletcher - play every single role in the show. Quick costume changes and a range of accents elevates their work and the hilarity of it all. A simple, but effective, stage design enables a dizzying display of exits and entrances as characters parade the floor along with a good blast of dry ice. 

Again, this show is not for the faint hearted. You'll come away with a slight disbelief as to what you have just witnessed but also side splitting anecdotes which will leave you and your friends laughing for days.

Little Women in Black runs at The Wardrobe Theatre until 16 January 2022.

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The Wardrobe Theatre
Theatre
The Wardrobe Theatre

The Wardrobe Theatre is a fringe studio venue and thriving arts hub in the heart of Bristol showcasing the best theatre-makers, companies and artists from around the UK.

Little Women In Black: Christmas at The Wardrobe Theatre
Theatre
Little Women In Black

Christmas 2021 with The Wardrobe Theatre, a brand new alternative, adult comedy from the people that brought you Drac & Jill, Oedipuss In Boots, Rocky Shock Horror and more!