The Secret Garden (2004)

The Secret Garden (2004) Poster

Production Details


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 shot 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 Company

Caroline Banks, Time Bittlestone, Peter Bradshaw, Liz Cairns, Rose Cleasby, Doreen Cothay, Harry Dallard, Janet Dixon, Mike Dixon, Anouska Drion, Catherine Finn, Jonathan Gilderoy, Barbara Gray, Katy Haggart, Rose Hannis, Helen Harries, Nikki Hellmuth, Peter Hook, Ruth Innes, Katherine Ions, Gillian Lavin, June Lavin, Catherine Lawes, Heather McLoughlin, Robin Murray, Stephanie Morton, Sherida Murphy, Kirrilee Reid, Christopher Smith, Jonathan Taylor, Bev Thompson, Katy Watson


  • Stage Manager – Alan Hogarth
  • Deputy Stage Manager – Andy Garth
  • Stage Crew – Alan Ball, Chris Brown, Dave Carter, Anthony Dixon, Jean Forster, Rob Gair, Tony Harries, Muir Hewitt, Rob McCabe, John Smith, & Team
  • Properties – Denise Brooksbank, Melanie Spedding, Miriam Maddox, Claire Wright, Graham Sneddon, Jenni Sneddon & Team
  • Scenery – Prosceneium Ltd. Rochdale
  • Bridge Cladding – David Foxall, Olly Burton & Team
  • Wardrobe – Jean Graham, Jane Flowers, Judith, Carolyn Knott
  • Costumes – W. A. Homburg Ltd. Leeds, Society Wardrobe
  • Wigs – Showbiz Southampton
  • Make-Up – Hayley Hook, Jessica Lamb, Eunice Sneddon, Jenni Sneddon
  • Lighting Design – Keir Webster
  • Sound Design – Graham Holder
  • Technical Support – Andy Vasarhelyi, Adam Nix
  • Prompts – Jo Smart
  • Rehearsal Pianists – Maurice Powell, Martin Dack
  • Children’s Coach – Margaret Graham
  • Front of House – David Foxall, Frank Cure, Mary Robinson, Margaret Sutton, Anne Robinson, Lawrence Jones, Joyce Allinson, Dorothea Tuckerman, Frank Tuckerman
  • Refreshments – Joan Foxall, Jean Jones
  • Chaperones – Lesley Begg, Jennifer Lindsey, Jill Watson, Team
  • Dressers – Carole Carter, Pam Drion, Katy Duff, Sarah Jackson, Eunice Sneddon


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Ian Wells – Northern NODA News – February 2005

This enchanting children’s classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett has been transformed into the this wonderful stage musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon which received its Northern Area Premiere in this production by the Durham Musical Theatre Company.

The story of young Mary Lennox (beautifully played by Rebecca Innes in the performance I attended) orphaned in India, and sent to live in the cold and menacing atmosphere of her uncle’s house in Yorkshire, was convincingly told, and the characters (some of whom are ghosts) all clearly drawn.

Anthony Smith was the seemingly aloof uncle who moved the audience when he finally showed his love for his sickly son. Clark Adamson was his scheming brother, and their duet Lily’s Eyes’ was one of the good highlights of the show.

Lily, or rather her ghost, was played by elegant newcomer Erin Wright, who has a voice like an angel. Delia McNally (Martha, the Maid) and Olly Burton (Head Gardener) expertly provided the lighter moments, ably assisted by Sam Lupton, a talented young man to watch in the future, as Dickon.

The principals all sang well, including Sue Robinson and Laurence Scott, as Mary’s dead parents, and June Lavin as their friend, as did the chorus, under the direction of George Hetherington.

Scenery was basic, but the atmospheric lighting, designed by Keith Webster, did much to enhance the show. This was a superb production, well worthy of the Company, the Gala Theatre, and the occasion of it being the Northern premiere of the show.