Review: The Secret Garden, Hexham Book Festival

This post is sponsored

Northumberland is a beautiful place, so much greenery and nature around, so it was quite fitting to have The Secret Garden in Hexham’s spiegeltent as part of the Book Festival.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Lennox who finds herself in Northumberland after being excluded from her city comprehensive, she is certain there is nothing there for her.  But slowly finds out there is so much joy and beauty to be seen outdoors- especially in the secret garden.

The new adaption, co created by Becci Sharrock and Carole Wears, has been created for children and their families. It was such a pleasant experience full of love and flowers, using the story as a platform to gently educate the audience about the importance of looking after our planet, working together, friendship, self worth, identity and the family.

Actors Michael Blair, Sarah Boulter, Ellen Carnazza, Wambui Hardcastle, Zoe Lambert, Shreya Patel and Lauren Waine all took on the roles of the five main characters. This sharing of roles is one of the many adaptations being made by the creative team to ensure that the
creative process is as accessible as possible. I found this to be refreshing and innnovative.

Wambui played Lennox, was vivacious and wild in energy and spirit. A relatable character to the kids in the audience (as Lennox complains of no signal or wifi to use her mobile).

As just mentioned, Music played a strong part in the storytelling- using songs to aid the story along, support the emotion of the characters and to act as the garden. Green Microphone stands and music stands were used to create the trees and plants as they literally and metaphorically lit up the characters.

Being apart of the Hexham Book Festival, there were nods and references to the importance of telling stories, reading and finding your inner child and learning how to play. Which I think is what the heart of the story and the festival is all about.

The Secret Garden is a magical classic story and seeing it adapted into a play was a magical experience.

For more info about Hexham Book Festival

For more info about The Secret Garden

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