The cast has been announced for “The Secret Garden” which is being staged at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from Friday, August 19, to Saturday, September 3.
It is a classic tale of friendship which is re-told with a cast of young people supported by four professional actors.
Mary Lennox is greeted by Mrs Medlock (portrayed by Olivia Carruthers) at Missellthwaite Manor, a house on the edge of a moor: a house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked: a house full of secrets.
Her uncle, Mr Craven (played by Graeme Dalling), keeps himself shut away in the West Wing – a man with his own secrets to keep.
Mary hates this place. Until she meets Martha (Colette McNulty), Dickon and old Ben Weatherstaff (Paul Hamilton), who teach her about the moors, the creatures who live there, and about a garden – a garden that remains locked.
Mary starts to settle into life in her new home, until one night she hears the sound of a child crying. Does Missellthwaite Manor have one more secret to tell?
The production is being co-directed by Theatre Royal’s artistic director, Owen Calvert-Lyons, and head of creative Llearning, David Whitney.
Mr Calvert-Lyons said: “‘The Secret Garden’ is about transformation and growth. At the beginning of the play, the characters are damaged in some way – they are closed and insular versions of themselves. Mary has been brought up without much love, Colin has been abandoned by his father and Mr Craven himself is too grief-stricken by the death of his wife to be a proper father to his son.
“Ben Weatherstaff, the family gardener, has too become bad-tempered and cantankerous from the grief and guilt he feels over Mrs Craven’s death. Over the course of the play, however, Mary discovers the wonders of the garden. She is overjoyed by the simple discovery of green shoots emerging from the earth. She is transformed by this discovery. The garden is a metaphor for personal growth. As we see the garden transform from ‘dead’ branches, to buds and finally to flowers, so too we see all of these characters come to life.”