Wilma’s Rating [rating=5]
If it were possible to award this show more than 5 stars, then I would, but 5 is sadly the maximum. The most beautiful music I have heard in a long time and it amazes me, yet again, to find such a masterpiece at The Kings Head Theatre. It truly is a secret garden of its own, growing the most wonderful pieces of theatre this century has seen.
The Secret Garden is a story well known. A young girl, Mary, who’s family sadly die and she is sent to Yorkshire to live with her uncle Archibald in a Manor House. Archibald is still struggling to come to terms with his own wife’s death, during child birth ten years before, and the crippled son, Colin, that has been left behind.
Mary stumbles upon a secret garden that has become overgrown and shut off from the world since the death of Archibald’s wife. Through twists and turns, Mary manages to enter the garden and use its power to nourish Colin back to health.
There is no one person in particular of this cast for me to pick out and mention. Every actor was magnificent and sent several shivers down my spine.
Following in his father’s footsteps and making his professional stage debut in the shared role of Colin was Zac Donavon, son Jason Donovan. His voice was the least strong out of everyone (when singing solo) but in a melody with other actors sounded perfect. The role of Mary Lenox (again a shared role) was Ana Martin who also makes her professional debut.
Alexander Evans, who has just returned from Broadway in the US production of Masterclass, plays Archibald Craven. Amanda Goldthorpe-Hall in the role of Mrs Medlock (a part she understudied in the original UK production in 2000) whilst fresh from playing Mrs Corny in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! is Rachael McCormick as Martha. Joining them is Freddie Davies as Ben Weatherstaff and Zoe Curlett as Lily (her previous credits include Cosette in Les Misérables and Christine in The Phantom of the Opera).
Completing the cast are: Ross Barnes (A Winter’s Tale : Landor Theatre), Robert Dalton (Save the Last Dance : UK Tour), Jordon Lee Davies (Into the Woods : St David’s Hall), Martin Dickinson (Jekyll & Hyde : UK Tour), Natalie Douglas (Steel Pier : Union Theatre), Wesley Dow (When Harry Met Barry : Above the Stag), Joanna Eliot (Let There Be : Riverside Studios), Fiona Finsbury (The Young Ones : Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch), Mona Goodwin (Spring Awakening : Lyric Hammersmith & West End), Matthew Ronchetti (A Winter’s Tale : Landor Theatre) and Pippa Winslow (Old Goat Song: Lion & Unicorn).
There are no words necessary for a review of this show. If you trust my judgement, then I can’t urge you strongly enough to see this show. I look forward to welcoming a transfer into the west end.
The Secret Garden plays at The Kings Head Theatre, Islington every Monday and Tuesday until 17th March 2013. Produced by Aria Entertainment and Knockhardy Productions.
Click here to buy tickets.