This summer, The Secret Garden will be performed in the main auditorium of the Octagon Theatre Bolton by a team of over 80 young people from across Bolton and the surrounding areas, with a cast of four professional actors. A tale that celebrates love, family and magic, The Secret Garden will transport audiences from the vibrancy of India to the Gothic mystery of a crumbling mansion in Yorkshire, without leaving the comfort of the Octagon Theatre’s auditorium!
Harry Long, who played Elyot in Private Lives and Arthur in The Family Way at the Octagon Theatre, will be playing Mr Craven. Harry has recently performed on stage as Joseph in This Land (Salisbury Playhouse) and Norman in Holy Mackerel (Eastern Angles), and his television credits include Lark Rise to Candleford (BBC) and Doc Martin (BBC).
Christian Edwards is returning to the Octagon Theatre after his glorious role of Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain this June, to play Ben. Winner of the Leon Sinden Award for his role as Tony Lumpkin in She Stoops to Conquer (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Christian’s theatre credits include Grantaire in Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre), and Noah Claypole in Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).
Natasha Davidson has won the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Catherine in A View from the Bridge at the Octagon Theatre in 2015. Now Natasha is back at the Octagon to perform as Martha in The Secret Garden. Natasha has also recently performed at the Oldham Coliseum as Clara Eynsford-Hill in Pygmalion and in Hindle Wakes here at the Octagon Theatre.
Kathy Jamieson will be playing the role of Mrs Medlock. Kathy recently performed at the Octagon Theatre as Liz Piper in The Family Way. Her other acting credits include Mrs Hawthorn in Hindle Wakes (Octagon Theatre Bolton), Anne in Prize Night (Royal Exchange Theatre).
The Secret Garden, listed in the BBC’s “Big Read’s” Top 50 Books, is brought vividly to life in a brand-new adaptation by the Octagon’s own New Writing Associate, BAFTA-nominated writer Janys Chambers. Sometimes funny, always touching, this is the story of a lonely, seemingly unlovable child and her search for ‘a little bit of earth’.
Creative Learning Producer Christina Lydon commented on the production: “We’ve got 80 young actors aged between 7 and 24 in The Secret Garden and we are delighted that these four wonderful performers will be supporting them on stage. They will undoubtedly make the experience for our young performers a very happy one, and will be able to teach them new skills throughout the project.”
The Octagon Theatre’s new Artistic Team have come together to create this project especially for young people to experience theatre-making, from performance, production, to design and teamwork in a fun and supportive environment. The team includes New Writing Associate Janys Chambers, Youth Theatre Practitioner John Dawson,
Associate Producer Deborah Dickinson, Creative Learning Producer Christina Lydon, Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, RTYDS Resident Assistant Director Ben Occhipinti, and Participation Practitioners Fraser Thomas and Helen Thompson.
Performance dates and times:
7.30pm: Thu 11, Fri 12, Sat 13 Aug
2pm matinee: Sat 13 Aug
Tickets: £6 (£4)
For more information and to book tickets click HERE