A show that should not be kept a secret

York Theatre Royal's summer production of the 1911 classic The Secret Garden is a stunning family show.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 6th August 2018, 3:06 pm
Updated Monday, 6th August 2018, 3:08 pm

With creative costumes, superb scenery and playful puppets, this show should not be kept a secret.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story, adapted by Jessica Swale, follows orphan Mary Lennox, who moves from India to live with her uncle in England after her parents die.

On her uncle’s Yorkshire estate, with the help of her new friend Dickon, she realises the value of nature.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

Due to this she discovers the Secret Garden which was hidden away ten years earlier. She then meets her cousin who has to stay indoors due to a health condition. All of this leads to an interesting production as the plot unfolds.

A strong cast made the story very entertaining.

Ella Dunlop (Mary) graduated from Rose Bruford College last year but already has a lot of performances under her belt. She perfected her role and helped to make it a very funny and entertaining show.

Keith Bartlett (Ben Weatherstaff, the gardener) used his experience spanning more than 30 years, including West End performances. He is a brilliant actor and plays his part to perfection.

Matthew Durkan, who plays Dickon who is Martha’s brother and friends with Mary, Colin and every animal nearby, delivers comedy well, including vintage rude humour.

The person who plays the funniest character is Coral Sinclair who plays the maid, Martha. She portrays the youthful, mischievous and down to earth maid well.

The set, designed by Lily Arnold and built by VisualScene, works amazingly with stark rooms being revealed and the garden transforming as it is tended.

The Secret Garden, which runs until August 25, is a wonderful play and just right for a fun family thing to do this summer.

By Luke Smith, aged 12