Full Adult Cast of Timeless Musical Announced
Opens August 2, Sydney
Producers John Frost and Opera Australia today announced the full adult cast for the 25th anniversary production of The Secret Garden which will play at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star from 2 August, then transfer to Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne from 13 November.
Reprising one of his most acclaimed roles, Anthony Warlow was announced as the first cast member last year playing Archibald Craven, the master of Misselthwaite Manor, which he played in the musical’s premiere season in 1995.
Joining him will be Georgina Hopson (Ragtime, West Side Story) as Lily, Archibald’s late wife, and Rob McDougall (Assassins, Les Misérables) as Dr Neville Craven, Archibald’s brother. Alinta Chidzey (Chicago, A Little Night Music) will play Martha, Mary’s friend and maidservant; Nigel Huckle (West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie) will be Dickon, a Yorkshire moor boy who befriends Mary and Colin; and Rodney Dobson (Wicked, Chicago) will play gruff elderly gardener Ben Weatherstaff. Gold Logie winner Rowena Wallace (Sons & Daughters, Neighbours) will return to the stage for the first time in many years to play Mrs Medlock, housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor.
Also in the cast are Jordan Angelides, Andy Conaghan, Grace Driscoll, Des Flanagan, Matt Heyward, Glenn Hill, Zoe Ioannou, Genevieve Kingsford, Matilda Moran, Bronwyn Mulcahy,Adam Noviello, Danielle O’Malley, David Ouch, James Shaw, Alec Steedman and Erica Wild.
The child actors who will play Mary Lennox and Colin Craven will be announced at a later date, with auditions still underway.
The producers are thrilled with their stellar cast. “The list of incredible performers that we’ve assembled for The Secret Garden is second to none. I can’t wait to hear them sing the spine-tingling score,” said John Frost. “Producing The Secret Garden in 1995 was one of the most special experiences of my career, and with Anthony returning as Archibald Craven alongside the legendary Rowena Wallace and the rest of this spectacular cast, I know this new production will be just as extraordinary.”
Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini added, “To have the opportunity to present an astonishing new production of The Secret Garden by the original creative team and with the magnificent Anthony Warlow leading this brilliant cast is too good to be true. We are very excited to continue Opera Australia’s mission of telling narrative through music and drama with this wonderful classical musical.”
The Secret Garden returns to Australia this year, produced by Opera Australia and John Frost, for a 25th anniversary production which reunites the original Broadway creative team of director Susan H Schulman, choreographer Michael Lichtefeld and scenic designer Heidi Ettinger with costume design by Catherine Zuber and musical supervisor Guy Simpson.
Based on the much-loved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett this heart-warming story comes to life on stage with the same magical qualities, in this sophisticated take on the literary classic. The Secret Garden last played in Australia in 1995 starring Anthony Warlow, Philip Quast and Marina Prior. The musical and its stars were acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, with The Age’s Helen Thompson saying, “The Secret Garden was a musical just waiting to happen. It’s a rich and impressive production that appeals to all ages.”
Young, orphaned Mary Lennox arrives at her uncle’s home to find distant grieving relatives – and the mysterious tale of a secret garden. Together with new-found friends, Mary breathes life into the secret garden. She blossoms too, and through her adventures, tends to all the hearts around her. The sumptuous score contains a raft of wonderful songs including ‘A Bit of Earth’, ‘Show Me the Key’ and the unforgettable ‘Lily’s Eyes’.