Century old tale is given modern yet faithful makeover
With the daily news bringing sad tales of children leaving behind their homeland, their parents and their innocence when fleeing war-torn lands, this new version of The Secret Garden couldn't be more relevant.
Adapted by Rosalind Sydney from Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1911 novel, all the fundamentals of the original story are still intact. Young Mary returns to Britain after the death of her parents abroad – only here, it's clear she's made a long, perilous journey to safety. The household still feels at turns oppressive and welcoming, but as Mary's sense of safety (and curiosity) grows, she begins to blossom like one of the flowers in the eponymous garden.
What strikes most here, is the dynamism. Whether they're using a ladder to convey a busy motorway, dressing up in a silly hat to swap characters or simply exploring the garden, the three-strong cast keep the energy flowing. And when we finally enter the mysterious garden itself, Karen Tennent's clever and adaptable set is a riot of bloom and colour. Through it, the wonder and healing power of nature that sits right at the heart of this story is beautifully conveyed.
Reviewed at The Tron Theatre, Glasgow.