As previously tipped (See The Goss, 18 Aug 2004), the aptly named Novel Theatre will follow its West End transfer of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women with a London staging of another North American literary classic. The company’s new adaptation of Canadian novelist Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables will run at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, from 30 November 2004 to 8 January 2005 (previews from 25 November).

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert live and work on their smallholding in a country village but are beginning to feel their age. They approach an orphanage to employ a boy to help with farm duties, but instead a girl, the red-haired and fanciful Anne Shirley, arrives.

Montgomery’s novel was first published in 1908, the first of a series which included Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island and Anne’s House of Dreams. The stories were popularised for more recent generations by a North American television series launched in the 1980s.

Novel’s production is adapted by Emma Reeves and directed by Andrew Loudon, the same team behind Little Women, which previously played at the Lilian Baylis and is currently booking at the West End’s Duchess Theatre up to 15 January 2005 (See News, 18 Aug 2004).

The nine-strong cast of Anne of Green Gables features Ruth Gibson (as Anne - pictured), David Baron (Matthew Cuthbert) and Jenny Lee (Marilla Cuthbert), along with Beccy Armory, Matt Canavan, Joanna Croll, Tina Gray, Lisa Hewitt and Anjali Jay. The production is designed by Rachel Payne, with lighting by Matthew Eagland and music by Paul Weir.

- by Terri Paddock