The Secret Garden

Previewed 27 July 2016, Opened 3 August 2016, Closed 31 August 2016 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London

The Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden in London in a specially adapted youth version for a strictly limited six week season.

Directed by Rupert Hands, this show has been adapted to 75 minutes and will be performed by 21 different teams of child and adult actors. Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon.

In a lonely manor house on the Yorkshire Moors, Archibald Craven yearns for his beautiful, late wife, and becomes ever more isolated and remote from his crippled son. But their quiet routine is turned upside down when young Mary Lennox is sent to live with them following the death of her parents in India. She finds a secret walled garden hidden in the grounds and releases the magic and adventure locked inside it, changing their lives forever.

The Secret Garden in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 27 July 2016, opened on 3 August 2016 and closed on 31 August 2016.

The Secret Garden - Royal Shakespeare Company 2001

Previewed 17 February 2001, Opened 27 February 2001, Closed 2 June 2001 at the Aldwych Theatre in London

The Royal Shakespeare Company present the musical The Secret Garden in London adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The cast for The Secret Garden in London features Philip Quast as 'Archibald Craven', Peter Polycarpou as 'Dr Neville Craven', Meredith Braun as 'Lily' and Linzi Hateley as 'Martha' with Craig Purnell as 'Dickson', Freddie Davies as 'Ben Weatherstaff', Dilys Laye as 'Mrs Medlock', Alistair Robins as 'Captain Albert Lennox' and Carmen Cusack as 'Rose'. Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon. Directed by Adrian Noble with choreography by Gillian Lynne, designs by Anthony Ward and lighting by Chris Parry. Presented by the RSC, this production comes into London's West End following a successful season at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from November 2000 to 27 January 2001. Meredith Braun's West End credits include the musical Bernadette at the Dominion Theatre in 1990.

"The RSC's family show for Christmas 2000 is a musical adaptation of The Secret Garden, directed by Adrian Noble with some classy production values and several charmingly funny performances... Marsha Norman's book and lyrics - though occasionally banal - admirably explore how people cope with death and loss and can heal with love. Lucy Simon's score, though quite a hit on Broadway, didn't exactly make me jump for joy. The intermeshing of American-style show tunes with English (well, actually, more Irish) folk music can be awkward... Philip Quast's Archibald is touching simply modulating a bedtime fairy tale into a restorative lullaby. Natalie Morgan who plays Mary (in rotation with two other children) is terrifically assured and never self-consciously cute. Her beastly strops are splendid." The Independent on Sunday

"Originally a Broadway show, there's a lot wrong with Marsha Norman's book, one of the key irritations being the constant and confusing reappearance of the uncle's deceased love, a beautiful spook. Lucy Simon's music is rather repetitious, the songs detaining us too often in the second act which needs to shed about 30 minutes. Gillian Lynne's choreography works best when she has the legion of gardeners doing a hoe-down. Still, it is a family show with plenty to sock you in the eye. Anthony Ward's sets with actors in Edwardian costume conjure up a world of starchy isolation. There are storms to frighten the kiddies, the arrival of spring to delight us and a tale of human healing to lift the heart. It's a great bet for a family outing and a triumph for the RSC - not least because it's a silk purse made from a pig's ear." The Daily Express

"Marsha Norman's brutally condensed text gives no sense of how the children's personalities gradually unfold... The brief, punchy scenes, leaping from clarion call to hearty hoedown (with real hoes) don't create any atmosphere of the Yorkshire Moors, nor of any place north of Broadway. Lucy Simon's pleasant but forgettable melodies provide many opportunities for Philip Quast's Archie to aim his big numbers, in the jut-jawed, yearning-yet-triumphant mode, straight at the audience. His warm, strong voice and romantic looks are wasted here... Strangest of all in Adrian Noble's production was the absence of any feeling of secrecy or splendour. Anthony Ward's garden has a door but no wall, and though Colin is supposedly tempted outdoors by the joys of spring, all we see is dark, bare trees, until the last scene, when a lot of pink roses descend from the flies. Norman and Simon's songs may be 'used all over America in grief counselling', but there's no consolation for the audience at this garden. The flowers have been bunged in ready-grown; all they smell of is lies and plastic." The Independent

"Adults are likely to find more to enjoy than children in this intriguingly grown-up musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel, now transferring to the West End after success in Stratford. Perhaps I'm reading too much into Adrian Noble's RSC production, but the psychosexual tension between the hunchbacked Archibald's longing for his dead wife and for her surrogate, little Mary Lennox, appears especially dark and telling... Physically, the production is strikingly lovely, with Anthony Ward's towering translucent panels offering an appealingly simple solution to the problem of showing the garden itself." The Sunday Times

"The Secret Garden, pleasant enough as a melodramatic recycling of the children's classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is a vain attempt to strike box office gold by re-heating a tired old Broadway musical... The score by Lucy Simon (Carly's sister) is an insufferable mixture of parlour song, cute anthem and ghastly old-fashioned duetting. The book and lyrics by Marsha Norman are distinctly average, with no sense of dramatic impulse. Anthony Ward's designs of sliding, translucent panels make it all look better than it deserves. Philip Quast as the nasty uncle and Dilys Laye as the fussing housekeeper are superb. And my usual antipathy towards child actors, which took a severe knock in Billy Elliot, is almost thwarted by the tough, unsentimental performances of Natalie Morgan (alternating with Tamsin Egerton-Dick) as Mary Lennox and Luke Newberry as the crippled Colin, saved by an influx of spring weather and pink roses." The Daily Mail

The Secret Garden in London at the Aldwych Theatre previewed from 17 February 2001, opened on 27 February 2001 and closed on 2 June 2001.