UNEARTHING the dark heart of the children’s classic The Secret Garden, theatre company Angel Exit celebrate the centenary of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel with a brand new production.
The show, which is true to the original, blends ensemble storytelling with striking physicality, beautiful puppets, live singing and an original soundtrack.
Spoilt orphan, Mary Lennox, is plucked from the bright vibrancy of India and transplanted to a vast old house brimming with secrets on the grey Yorkshire moors. As the wind blows around the mysterious manor, Mary battles with loneliness and encounters locked doors, a curious robin, a gruff old gardener, and strange cries echoing through the house.
A hidden key unlocks the secret garden, but what will this unlock in Mary? And will she be able to help her grieving uncle and whoever is wailing down the corridor?
Ashleigh Cheadle, who studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, will play the part of Mary Lennox, Simon Jones plays Colin the crippled cousin befriended by Mary despite his angry behaviour and Henry Douthwaite plays Ben Weatherstaff the gardener and Archibald Craven, Mary’s uncle and Colin’s father.
The role of Mary’s best friend Dickon, who helps her transform the mysterious garden, is taken by Matt Mackintosh.
Angel Exit artistic director Tamsin Fessey said: “It’s the biggest show we have done and the cast are absolutely fabulous.”
Formed in 2001 by graduates of the prestigious Ecole Lecoq theatre school in Paris and co-directed by Tamsin Fessey and Lynne Forbes, Angel Exit is a shifting ensemble of performers with a shared passion for new dynamic physical theatre.
To date Angel Exit have produced five original pieces of theatre.
Catch The Secret Garden at Winfrith village hall on September 10 at 6pm (call 01305 852117 for tickets and details) and Sturminster Newton Exchange on March 11 at 7pm (call 01258 475137).