The Tony award-winning musical The Secret Garden, based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett with script and lyrics by Pulitzer prize and Tony award-winner Marsha Norman and music by Grammy award-winner Lucy Simon, is coming back to the West End for a summer season.
This specially “Spring” version of the show has been adapted to 75 minutes by its creators to be performed by young people. The Secret Garden is from the same production team as Annie Jr, which smashed box office records last summer at the Arts Theatre, at the same time giving 350 youngsters the chance to act for the first time in the West End.
More than 2,000 children have auditioned for The Secret Garden and 300 youngsters will be cast in the show.
Producer Matthew Chandler of P2P Productions said: “This is the European premiere of a new version of The Secret Garden, specially adapted to be performed with just 4 adult actors and 20 children. We have 21 teams child actors who will perform in rotation throughout the season. of It is a fantastic opportunity for all the youngsters involved.”
Orphaned while living in India, 10 year-old Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire, England to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald, whom she has never met. There, the ill-tempered and lonely Mary meets Martha, a chambermaid, who tells her of a secret garden which belonged to her aunt Lily before she died. Mary’s search for the garden introduces her to a slew of other characters including Dickon (Martha’s brother), Ben (the head gardener), Neville (her other uncle), and a spirited robin that seems to be trying to talk to her. This compelling tale of forgiveness and hope reveals that even the cruelest of environments can blossom with new life.
The Secret Garden is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Director Rupert Hands said: “I’m very much looking forward to working on this beautiful musical with such an exciting company of young actors. Giving young people the opportunity to work on great shows in great spaces is vital for the future of theatre.”
Director – Rupert Hands
Musical Director – Richard Baker
Choreographer – Jamie Neale
Costume and Set Design – Lizzy Leech
Resident Director – Julie Thomas
Resident Choreographer – Katy Stephens
The Secret Garden, directed by Rupert Hands, will run 6 weeks at the Ambassadors Theatre from Wednesday 27 July to Wednesday 31 August