RSC's Secret Garden Set for Aldwych OpeningDate: 12 December 2000
The RSC's revival of the 1991 Broadway hit, The Secret Garden, currently playing at Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre, has confirmed the details for its West End transfer. As rumoured in October, the production will replace Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind at the Aldwych Theatre. Whistle Down the Wind closes on 6 January 2001 after a two-and-a-half year run; The Secret Garden opens on 27 February.
The Royal Shakespeare Company collaborated with Broadway playwright Marsha Norman and composer Lucy Simon to rework their original musical, based on the 1911 children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden tells the story of spoilt orphan Mary Lennox and her sickly cousin Colin. After the death of her parents, Mary is brought back from India to live in her uncle's house in England, but she is desperately unhappy until one day she discovers the key to a secret garden.
Like Hodgson Burnett's other books, Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess, The Secret Garden has been a favourite children's story for generations. It has translated onto film many times, including Warner Brothers' major release in 1999.
The revival is directed by RSC artistic director Adrian Noble (who also directed the company's hugely successful production of CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and designed by Anthony Ward with lighting by Chris Parry, sound by Andrew Bruce and Terry Jardine, choreography by Gillian Lynne, musical orchestration by William David Brohn and musical supervision by Chris Walker.
The Secret Garden opened in Stratford on 29 November 2000 (previews from 13 November) and continues there in repertory until 27 January 2000. The production features Philip Quast, Linzi Hateley and Peter Polycarpou who are joined by a young cast including Natalie Morgan, Tamsin Egerton Dick and Eliza Caird (sharing the role of Mary), and Luke Newberry, Adam Clarke and Eddie Brown (sharing the role of Colin). Casting for the West End engagement has yet to be confirmed.