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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Children’s classic The Secret Garden tours Norfolk and beyond this half term

PUBLISHED: 16:13 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 26 May 2017

The magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel Norris

The magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel Norris

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The magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre.

The magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel NorrisThe magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel Norris

East Anglian-based Spinning Wheel Theatre is bringing their charming and heart-warming adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s treasured childhood novel The Secret Garden to venues across the region.

The live show is 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.

The tour includes dates in Sheringham, Bungay and Diss.

It promises to be a half-term family treat that captures the long-loved magic of the book.

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.

The magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel NorrisThe magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett�s treasured childhood novel is brought to life in performances from acclaimed Spinning Wheel Theatre. Picture: Samuel Norris

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.

A joyful and uplifting tale of magic, friendship and hope, which also includes puppetry, it has been adapted and directed by Amy Wyllie.

“Audiences should expect a heart-warming and joyful production,” she explains. “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, Amy, Spinning Wheel Theatre artistic director and co-founder, 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 is at Palgrave Community Centre on May 27, 7.30pm, £9.50, 01379 742983 and John Peel Centre, Church Walk, Stowmarket, on May 28, 5.30pm, £9.50 (£7.50 cons), £7.50 under-18s, 01449 774678, www.johnpeelcentre.com

• It continues at Sheringham Little Theatre, May 31, 3pm, £8, £6 under-16s, 01263 822347, www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com/ Diss Corn Hall, June 2, 2pm, £9.50, £7.50 children, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk/Fisher Theatre, Bungay, June 4, 7pm, £9.50, £7.50 children, 01986 897130, www.fishertheatre.org

• A full list of tour dates can be found HERE

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