While the Broadway production of Little Women will close this weekend, London audiences will soon have a chance to judge for themselves how well Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, about the March sisters during the American civil war, adapts for the musical stage. A separate version by an all-British creative team - Lionel Segal (music and lyrics) and Peter Layton (book) - will receive a one-off concert presentation at the West End’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Sunday 2 October 2005. The London company, directed by Gillian Gregory, will feature Dave Willetts (as Professor Bhaer) and Fascinating Aida's Dillie Keane (Miss Crocker). Comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, who championed the case of Alcott’s novel in the BBC Big Read competition, will narrate. All going to plan, the Drury Lane date will precede a fully-fledged production next year. However, caution may be warranted. The Broadway Little Women lasted less than six months, despite the pulling power of Tony Award winner Sutton Foster in the starring role as sister Jo. It’s also not long since Novel Theatre’s play based on Alcott’s novel had an extended season at the West End’s Duchess Theatre, where it finished in January 2005.