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15th July 2010
The Missington & District Horticultural Exhibition of 1910 is an event for all the family, there are exotic fruit and Vegetable classes, Jam and Preserve competitions and even sporting events that will enthrall.
Who will be the conquerers? Time will tell.
Time is surreal and magic in 1910 Missington,strange things are abound.
With the wind swirling around the beautiful surroundings of St. Georges Green in Jesmond, the scene changes rapidly to the Indian home of Mary Lennox, a rather stuffy, spoilt and upper class girl, who hasn't shown any interest in life apart from how rude and unpleasant she can be to others(the real life sounds of the passing police sirens led me to believe she should have been carted away there and then).
When a cholera outbreak sweeps the area and her rather unforgiven parents die from the disease Mary is transported to England under the guardianship of her Uncle Archibald Craven.
Craven is a man who has been in deep despair for 10 years since his wife passed away, all he can do to keep some sanity is to work himself into the ground with business trips, which funds his 600 year old mansion and the lifestyle of the gentry.
Mary finds her enforced change of routine rather hard to cope with, and acts pathetically in having to deal with the day to day activities of getting on with it.
Slowly and surely though with the help of the chambermaid Mrs. Medlock, she springs into life in the gardens of the mansion and uncovers with the help of a Robin, a key to a secret garden, and the magic that lies behind the walls.
Day afer day she visits the garden and tales of torments come to life, which not only hamper the past but also the present.
Throughout the remaining time in the garden relationships with not only Mrs Medlock,her son Dickon,Mr.Craven, but also Mr. Cravens son Colin, are brought to the surface, and magic seeds of life are sown.
Heartbreak Productions under the watchful Direction of Miss Marie McCarthy, and Creative Producer Jane Holloway, have done a fantastic job of adapting Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic, bringing it to Newcastle as an open air theatre for the masses.
The Production does a wonderful job in allowing audience participation, and the many children in the audience loved the taking part, one mum even danced a silly dance on stage to the amusement of all!!!
Every inch of the stage design is wonderfully used and the atmospheric music and sounds are befitting of the lovely surroundings.
Only 5 actors brilliantly took the parts of over twenty characters, this alone in a play of over 2 hours was breathless.
Sally Brooks,Joe Herzfeld,Andrew Cullum,James Edward and Abigail Gallagher all acted with passion and determination, and I can't wait to see them in their next production.
The Secret Garden is a tale of hope and compassion, which sends out a message to all in todays society that nothing should be 'dead and buried' but given a chance-things will flourish and blossom.
To find out what secrets lie behind locked doors, head over to Jesmond until Sunday 18th July.