The secret is out…
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved children’s novel was re-imagined for the stage by composer Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman.
From the British Raj to the windswept Yorkshire moors, the show takes the audience on a magical musical journey, as one young girl transforms the lives of everyone around her.
Head of Musical Theatre Associate Professor Paul Sabey says this full-scale production of a musical is a first for the Queensland Conservatorium.
“We have a full orchestra in the pit and more than 20 cast members performing on stage,” he said.
“This is the first time since the Musical Theatre course began that we have mounted a show of this scale on the main stage at the Conservatorium Theatre.
“It is a fantastic learning opportunity for our students and opens up their work to a much wider audience.”
Student performers shine
British theatre director Ian Good has been honing the skills of the young cast for the past three months.
“They have worked really hard and given their all — these kids live to perform,” he said.
“A show like this prepares them to make the leap into professional theatre.”
The show features a triple cast, ensuring that all of the students get their moment in the limelight.
Shannen Sarstedt, one of three performers tackling the lead role, says the show has given her the chance to work with some of the leading professionals in the industry.
“We have the most amazing creative team — a Tony-award winning lighting designer, a director from London, stunning sets and beautiful costumes.”
Setting the stage for success
It’s the type of opportunity given to the students throughout their degree that ensures they become well-rounded performers, according to Paul Sabey.
“We have an incredibly talented group of young performers and with the increasing demand for musical theatre professionals across the globe it’s vital that they leave us with the skill set that will enable them to tackle any role, on any stage.”
The Secret Garden runs from 18 — 26 August at the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, South Bank.
Music by Lucy Simon
Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
By arrangement with Origin Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French Inc.