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THE SECRET GARDEN A Musical in 2 Acts, a Prologue and 18 Scenes. Music by Lucy Simon; Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman; Based on the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett St James Theatre, Broadway - April 25, 1991 (706 perfs) Aldwych Theatre, London - 27 February, 2001 - 2 June, 2001 STORY The year is 1911. Young Mary Lennox awakes one morning in India, to discover that her parents, and in fact, everyone she knows in the English compound in Bombay, have died of cholera. Having nowhere else to go, she is sent to live with her brooding Uncle Archibald, in his 100-room mansion in Yorkshire. Accompanying the girl from the train station, Mrs. Medlock, her uncle's housekeeper, tells Mary she shouldn't expect ever to see her uncle, that he is still mourning the death of his beautiful wife, Lily, the sister of Mary's mother. Further, she tells Mary she will have no one to play with, and she will not be allowed to wander the halls. In short, Mary will find her life here to be as gloomy and miserable as the house itself. Mary receives this news with stony silence. But she is wilful and determined, qualities which will change not only her life, but that of everyone in the house before she is finished. With the help of the spirits who are watching over her, Mary will upset every one of Mrs. Medlock's expectations. On her first evening at Misselthwaite, Mary hears an eerie wailing but sees only the shadows cast by her uncle as he wanders the halls hearing what he thinks is the ghost of his dead wife. The next morning Mary meets the irrepressible maid, Martha, who hints there might be something interesting to do outside. Mary is not convinced, but anything seems better than staying in. Proving this point, on her way out she encounters her Uncle Archibald, who seems completely lost, singing and dancing with Lily's ghost, in an empty ballroom. Once she begins to spend her days outside, however, Mary's sourness gradually diminishes. She learns from the cantankerous head gardener, Ben Weatherstaff of a mysterious walled garden which has been kept locked since Lily's death. And she meets Martha's brother Dickon, a young forest wizard who calls forth the spring in a rock anthem. Then, accompanied by the pan pipe and dulcimer, Dickon teaches Mary to speak to the ever chirping Robin in Yorkshire, and the bird, in turn, shows Mary where to find the key to the garden. But unable to find the door to Lily's garden, Mary decides she will plant the seeds Dickon gave her, and goes to her uncle to ask if she might have "a bit of earth". That simple request triggers powerful memories for Archibald, and as a storm rages outside, Archibald sinks further into the past. Archibald and his brother, Dr. Neville Craven, sing of how Mary reminds them of Lily, and Neville reveals that he was also in love with his brother's beautiful wife. Later, still disturbed by the persistent wailing at night, Mary enters the forbidden west wing, where she discovers her cousin Colin, a sickly but imperious boy who is confined to his bed and only visited by his father when he is asleep. Their budding friendship is interrupted by Dr. Craven and Mrs. Medlock, and Mary is banished from Colin's room. At the height of the storm, Mary rushes out of the house, suddenly reliving the cholera epidemic, and feeling more lost than ever. But as Act I ends, the watchful spirits lead her through this nightmare, bringing her finally to the ivy-cloaked door of The Secret Garden. ACT II begins as Mary dreams of the perfection the garden promises. Everyone she has known and loved