First Night Takeover: The Secret Garden inaugurates the Barn Theatre, Cirencester

22 Mar
Author: Perry O'Bree
Perry O'Bree with Liam Tamne at The Secret Garden

For our first-ever, out-of-town #FirstNightTakeover, Perry O'Bree jumped on a coach from London to Cirencester in the heart of the Cotswolds to help inaugurate the brand-new Barn Theatre on the opening night of its first offering, a 12-strong, actor-musician version of THE SECRET GARDEN. In addition to the cast, Perry caught a few other familiar West End #StageFaves making the trip, including Liam Tamne, Verity Rushworth and the theatre's own artistic director, former actor Iwan Lewis...  

The Barn Theatre’s production of THE SECRET GARDEN, based on the 1911 book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, marks the culmination of three years’ renovation work at the 200-seat Cirencester venue. It's directed by Dominic Shaw and runs from 16 March to 15 April 2018.

A powerful story about one small orphan girl shining hope into the desolate lives of her new-found relatives. Challenging, moving and inspiring for all ages.

After losing both parents to cholera in India, young Mary Lennox is sent to England to live with her hermit uncle, Archibald Craven. Inside his haunting secluded house, Mary meets his bedridden son, Colin, all alone with his mother’s death on his conscience. Everything changes when Mary decides to revive the beauty of her Aunt Lily’s overgrown secret garden.

The Secret Garden has script and lyrics are by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman with a score by Lucy Simon. The musical originally premiered on Broadway in 1991, going on to win three Tony Awards.

The principal cast features Daniella Piper (as Mary), David Haydn (Archibald Craven), Jaimie Pruden (Lily Craven), Minal Patel (Neville Craven), Celeste De Veazey (Colin Craven), Jenny O Leary (Martha), and Alex James Ellison (Dickon). They’re joined in the ensemble by Sue Appleby, Steffan Rizzi, Jamie Ross, Celia Cruwys Finnigan and Ben Boskovic.

Check out the show's #StageFaves page for full social media for the show, theatre and cast - as well as show photography and further videos and coverage. And don't forget to enter our competition to win tickets by 29 March!

First-night video

Perry got interviews with celebrity guests as well as all THE SECRET GARDEN principals, director Dominic Shaw and artistic director Iwan Lewis.

First-night tweeting