Secret Garden - Greasepaint and Stage Lights - Theatre Radio Show

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Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
Regents Park Open Air Theatre
(Review Complete)
(Click here for Narration)

CAST
 
Theo Angel – Colin
Richard Clews – Ben Wheatherstaff
Doctor Fletcher – Dr Craven
Amanda Hadingue – Mrs Medlock
Molly Hewitt-Richards – Martha
Jack Humphrey – Archibald Craven
Anita Jay – Champa
Hannah Kalique-Brown – Mary Lennox
Patrick Osborne – Captain Lennox
Sharan Phull – Lata/The Robin
Archana Ramaswamy – Padma
Brydie Service - Dickon
 
 
 
“An enchanted evening Story, in a perfect setting”!
Synopsis
"The Secret Garden" at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre tells the story of Mary Lennox (Hannah Khalique-Brown), a young girl who is sent to live with her uncle (Jack Humphrey) in a remote English manor after being orphaned in India when her parents and staff all caught and died of Cholera.
 
Lonely and rejected, Mary discovers a hidden, neglected garden and befriends the estate gardener Ben Weatherstaff (Richard Clews) and the garden’s resident robin (Sharan Phull). Mary and Dickon (Brydie Service) set out to restore the secret garden to its former glory. As she works on the garden, Mary begins to heal emotionally and finds solace in the beauty of nature.
  
Along the way, she befriends her sickly cousin Colin (Theo Angel) and uncovers the secrets of the manor, ultimately bringing new life and joy to both the garden and her family.

This timeless tale of friendship, healing, and the power of nature is brought to life in a magical outdoor setting at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.

Review
I recently had the pleasure of attending a performance of The Secret Garden at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre The weather was just right for what was to be an absolutely enchanting performance. The production was beautifully staged in the stunning outdoor setting, with the lush greenery of Regent's Park creating a magical backdrop for directors Holly Robinson and Anna Himali Howard’s new version of The Secret Garden”.

The cast was incredibly talented and brought the characters to life with their powerful performances. The first act at just over an hour I thought this would be a short play. But the second half was surprisingly long and as the night drew in the stage was perfectly lit by the setting sun and the skills of the lighting director Jai Morjaria.

The music was hauntingly beautiful and added an extra layer of emotion to the story credit to Tingying Dong and composers Ford Collier and Kate Griffin. The set design was creative and innovative, seamlessly transitioning between the various locations in the garden.

The use of staging slowly created a wonderful garden with coloured decorations to represent the various colours and new love to a once dead garden.

The actors interweaved the narration of the story, moving props and moving scenery. There was also some very clever puppetry with everyday objects becoming animals such as squirrels and crows, with each cast member bringing them to life. Clever puppetry by Laura Cubitt.

For me there was some standout performances with the likes of Molly Hewitt-Richards who played Martha, Archana Ramaswamy who played Padma. Hannah Khalique-Brown who played Mary Lennox. Brydie Service who played Dickon and Richard Clews who played Ben Weatherstaff.

Overall, The Secret Garden at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is a new adaption on an old story. It was a truly captivating and memorable experience. In fact the whole theatre grounds is a joy to be in on a wonderful pleasant evening, I left the performance feeling uplifted, inspired and with a tear in my eye.
  
It was a wonderful performance by the cast and crew. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a magical evening of theatre in the open air.
 
Reviewers:  Mark Bilsby and Alison Gabriel
Greasepaint and Stage Lights

Email: musicals@btinternet.com
website: www.greasepaintandstagelights.co.uk
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