Secret Garden springs to life this summer

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Much loved classic children’s book the Secret Garden is being brought to life on stage at York Theatre Royal this summer.

The family production - from July 27 to August 25 - will be accompanied by a programme of exciting activities with a chance for youngsters to explore and play in the theatre’s Secret Studio Garden.

This stage adaptation of the famous Frances Hodgson Burnett tale is by Jessica Swale, whose plays include Blue Stockings at Shakespeare’s Globe and Nell Gwynn, which won an Olivier for best new comedy.

It’s 1910, and spoilt, lonely Mary Lennox lives a life of luxury in India with her aristocratic parents. But when an unexpected twist of fate suddenly leaves her orphaned, she is sent to live with an unknown uncle in Misselthwaite Manor on the wild Yorkshire Moors.

Misselthwaite is a mysterious place full of dark corners and strange night-time noises, and Mary is sure there are secrets to unearth.

With the help of some unexpected friends, Mary sets about discovering the legend of its secret garden, in one of literature’s most enduring and magical adventures.

Originally written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this adaptation by Theatre by the Lake, features puppetry and live music set to an original score by Barnaby Race.

Director Liz Stevenson, associate director at Keswick Theatre by the Lake, said: “It feels particularly special to now be bringing it to Yorkshire.

“Through the journey of the play we see how Yorkshire’s beautiful landscape and the warmth of its people turn Mary’s life around.

“Jess Swale’s adaptation of this much-loved classic brings all of its magic and mystery to life on stage, and we’re excited about reviving it for York Theatre Royal this summer.”

While The Secret Garden is playing the main house, York Theatre Royal is offering a unique opportunity to explore and play in its Secret Studio Garden.

The Studio is being transformed into a garden where children and young people of all ages can make, play, listen and enjoy a garden created by themselves.

Over the weeks there will be different activities that explore and link with the production including bugs and flowers craft making, and puppet making.

Box office 01904 623568.