The magical musical based on the classic children’s book
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved victorian classic, The Secret Garden, blossoms anew in this enchanting musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. When young Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera outbreak in India, she is sent to live with her uncle, hermit Archibald Craven, who lives in an imposing, secluded manor on the British heath. Inside the haunting house upon the hill, Mary finds a reclusive, long-suffering collection of souls. Since her aunt Lily’s death, Mary’s uncle has pushed away his surviving loved ones, leaving his bedridden son, Colin, alone. Sickly Colin, hidden away in the depths of the manner, bears the guilt of his mother’s death on his crippled shoulders. When Mary discovers her Aunt Lily’s hidden garden, locked shut and overgrown with vines, stubborn Mary is determined to revive the beauty that once was. Surrounded by spirits from the past, who both warn and welcome her, determined Mary begins to peel away the layers of sadness that cover the house and the garden, showing us the power that one small girl can have when she wants things to grow.?
The production is proudly sponsored by Allen Mills Howard & Company
PHOTOGRAPHS by Vishal Sharma
- Lily (Dreamer) – Sasha Carrillo de Albornoz
- Mary Lennox – Alice Cross
- Mrs Medlock – Ros Greenwood
- Dr Neville Craven – Chris Wagstaff
- Martha – Lara Hancox
- Archibald Craven – Joshua Lloyd
- Ben Weatherstaff – Dave Richardson
- Dickon – David Beeby
- Colin Craven – Theo Hill
- Mrs Winthrop – Christine Perry
- Rose Lennox (Dreamer) – Pippa Greenhalgh
- Captain Albert Lennox (Dreamer) – Sam Berrie
- Alice (Dreamer) – Lauren Whiteley
- Lieutenant Wright (Dreamer) – Tim Hotham
- Lieutenant Shaw (Dreamer) – Jackson Hayes
- Major Holmes (Dreamer) – Josh Crook
- Claire Holmes (Dreamer) – Ella Kirk
- Ensemble of Dreamers – Liam Dodd, Rose Wilson, Aidan Burgess, Tabitha Hughes, Matthew Spilsbury, Brendan Cunningham, Danny McCarrick
Review by Rick Bowen for Stagestruck
Review by Julia Taylor for Sale and Altrincham Messenger
The Secret Garden, at the Garrick Playhouse, can reduce the hardest of hearts to jelly because it’s all about the best side of human nature. With book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 tale, it tells of Mary Lennox, orphaned in India and sent to live with her reclusive uncle, widower Archibald Craven (Joshua Lloyd). There, she not only discovers Colin, a lonely child invalid, but a secret garden once cultivated by her late aunt She brings it to life which helps to heal inner wounds both she and Colin share. The music is by composer, Lucy Simon and performed by an orchestra directed by Mark Goggins. Without exception, every singer has great musicality but it is Joshua Lloyd who stands out. His voice is positively operatic. The remarkable thing is that this production is led by children. In particular, eight-year-old Alice Cross who plays young Mary. She sings and interacts with a poise beyond her years. On stage most of the time, you can hear her every word. Eleven-year-old Theo Hill plays Colin, who believes he will die before he grows up. Rugged country boy Dickon is 21-year-old David Beeby. I also single out Sasha Carrillo de Albornoz as Colin’s spirit-like mother, Lily, and Pippa Greenhalgh who appears as Mary’s late mother, Rose.
This show owes much to the imaginative direction of Joe Meighan. Star rating ★★★★★
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