Garden secrets revealed on stage at Keswick theatre

Date: Friday 10th November 2017
Frances Marshall
Frances Marshall

THE much loved classic children’s book, The Secret Garden, is given a new lease of life in a stage adaptation by playwright Jessica Swale, and is set to delight families this Christmas when it plays at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.

Secret Garden
Secret Garden
Natasha Cottriall
Natasha Cottriall
Theo Cowan
Theo Cowan

It is 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, she sets about discovering the legend of its secret garden in one of literature’s most enduring and magical adventures.

The story was originally written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and this adaptation by Olivier award-winning playwright Jessica Swale features puppetry and live music set to an original score by Barnaby Race.

The production is directed by Liz Stevenson, associate director at Theatre by the Lake, who directed summer 2017’s smash-hit show Handbagged.

The show boasts a cast of 11 actors: Natasha Cottriall, Theo Cowan, Michael Kinsey, Antony Jardine, Chris Jack, Rina Mahoney, Frances Marshall, Russell Richardson, Coral Sinclair, Olivia Sweeney and Flo Wilson. Both Rina Mahoney and Frances Marshall have performed at Theatre by the Lake previously, Rina in Sleeping Beauty in 2003, Frances in Swallows and Amazons (Christmas, 2013), Summer Season 2015 and last year’s Christmas show The Emperor and the Nightingale.

Natasha Cottriall, who plays Mary in the production, said: “I can’t wait to have a magical Christmas in the beautiful setting of Theatre by the Lake. I’m really looking forward to playing such a famous character from a story that I have very fond childhood memories of.”

Frances Marshall added: “Theatre by the Lake is one of the friendliest theatres in the country, with staff and audiences who have always been incredibly welcoming. I loved The Secret Garden as a child and as an adult, and I think I’m most looking forward to finally meeting characters that I’ve so far imagined,”

The performance runs from 24th November to 13th January.