The Secret Garden


The magic of a will be brought to life in a trio of outdoor performances.

Bury St Edmunds-based Spinning Wheel Theatre company is bringing a nostalgic and magical adaptation of the classic children’s novel, The Secret Garden, and the live shows are part of Spinning Wheel Theatre’s sixth annual professional tour which will bring the family-friendly show to 18 rural and locations and small theatres across Suffolk and Norfolk between the 26th May – 18th June 2017.

This year’s run starts on May 26th at Wickhambrook Memorial Social Centre and finishes at the Tithe Barn in Bardwell. And for the first time, the reputable theatre company, formed in 2011, is putting on outdoor shows at the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket and Haverhill’s East Town Park. 

For the outdoor shows audiences can bring their own chairs and picnics and doors will open an hour before the performance.

The production will also lead workshops based on The Secret Garden in schools, as well as holding creative sessions for 7-11 year-olds at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket, on May 28 at 3pm.

Amy Wyllie, Spinning Wheel Theatre artistic director and co-founder, said:

“Audiences should expect a heart-warming and joyful production. There is something for everyone. We are all about getting young people and families actively involved in theatre. We are encouraging local children to enjoy the outdoors.”

Speaking about the ethos behind the professional rural tour, Miss Wyllie added:

“Transport is a massive issue in parts of Suffolk and Norfolk and access to high-quality theatre is sometimes not good.

Spinning Wheel Theatre is about getting people to go the theatre who would not normally consider going. We want to make professional theatre accessible so people can see something in their community with their friends. The shows are a good night out.”

The Secret Garden was written by British-American author Frances Hodgson Burnett and first published in 1911. Set in England at the turn of the 20th century, it is one of Burnett’s most popular novels and follows the story of a sickly 10-year-old girl called Mary Lennox who is born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her. After her parents die from cholera Mary is moved to Yorkshire to live with Archibald Craven, an uncle whom she has never met, at his isolated house, Misselthwaite Manor. It is at Misselthwaite Manor where she discovers she has a cousin called Colin Craven who suffers from ill health. The pair later learn about the magical healing properties of a secret garden.

Colin is played by 23-year-old Samuel Norris, from Mildenhall, who studied at West Suffolk College before training at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. It is the second Spinning Wheel Theatre professional tour he has been involved with. He will be joined by three other professional actors including Joe Leat and Alice Osmanski, who are also from Suffolk.

Tickets for all shows cost £9.50 and £7.50. For the full list of dates, further information or to book visit

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