The Stratford cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Secret Garden - including Philip Quast, Peter Polycarpou and Linzi Hateley - will revive their roles when the show transfers to the West End next month. The musical opens at the Aldwych Theatre on 27 February 2001, following previews from 17 February.

The full cast features Quast (as Archibald Craven), Polycarpou (Dr Neville Craven), Hateley (Martha), Meredith Braun (Lily), Craig Purnell (Dickon), Freddie Davies (Ben Weatherstaff), Dilys Laye (Mrs Medlock), Alistair Robins (Captain Albert Lennox) can Carmen Cusack (Rose). The original three teams of children, playing the roles of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven, also return for the London run; they are Natalie Morgan and Luke Newberry, Tamsin Egerton Dick and Eddie Brown, and Eliza Caird and Adam Clarke.

Also in the cast are Emma Barton, Dan Chamberlain, Lorraine Chappell, Vikki Coote, Joshua Dallas, Ray C Davis, Matthew Dennison, Emma Flett, Amanda Hall, Daniel Hinchcliffe, Cheryl McAvoy, Rachel Matthews, Daniel Page, Judith Paris, Christian Patterson, Michael Rouse, Duncan Smith, Flik Swan and Agnes Vandrepote.

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.

The stage musical is adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic 1911 novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marsha Norman, who has written both the book and lyrics. The music is by Lucy Simon, who was nominated for a Tony Award for the score when the show was produced on Broadway in 1991. The production features musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, with design by Anthony Ward. It is directed by the RSC’s artistic director Adrian Noble. Lighting is by Chris Parry, orchestrations by William David Brohn, musical supervision by Chris Walker, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Terry Jardine and musical direction by John Woolf.

The Secret Garden is the RSC’s first musical for more than a decade. It opened on 28 November 2000 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, where it has broken all box office records. The transfer to the West End will mark the return of the RSC to the Aldwych Theatre, which was the company’s London home from 1960 to 1981.

- by Terri Paddock