An Evening to Remember: The Secret Garden

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By A Correspondent

The Secret Garden, adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett and directed by Allen Macinnis, opened to a packed house on Thursday, February 8 at the Young People's Theatre in Toronto.  

Playwright Paul Ledoux observed that in a period when the heroes of children's novels were goodie two shoes, the writer offered us two perfectly horrid brats full of psychologically complex traumas given by adults who were equally flawed. Then, with the help of two 'common children off the moor' with a connection to the power of friendship and nature, she duly healed those wretched wealthy children.

Spectacular sound effects draw you into the story, like when going into a creepy mansion, and our heroine, Mary being spooked by them. Stellar lighting also helps tell the story well, especially when the garden comes alive with its rich green background and its other vibrant colours However, before it does, the drab, wintry look reigns supreme.

The actors make a great cohesive team and the audience feels they are a part of the experience, an intimate one where they are not away from the story. Great performances draw you into the minds of the characters.

Since the book was published in 1911, it has had a wide range of audience. They have had their imagination kindled by the thought of a scary manor in the Yorkshire moors and the discovery of a hidden and mystifying garden.

Our hero, Colin's mother had died in the garden and they had closed it off. But what they considered a source of their sorrow actually turned out to be a source of their joys.That endorses the theme - it's not an end and there's a cyclicality of things.The underlying message though is that one must allow it to happen. Colin is lonely, angry, cold and depressed in the beginning but realizes the secret garden has magic.The friendship of his cousin makes him understand that the magic is actually within him.

A great story about the reservoir of strength in us and how we can harness it if only we will it. A must-watch!


Indian Canadian Actor, Singer and Musician: Natalia Gracious

The Secret Garden, adapted from the beloved children's book by author Frances Hodgson Burnett comes to life onstage next month at Young People’s Theatre under the direction of YPT’s Artistic Director,  Allen MacInnis. This classic story will be presented on the Mainstage from February 5 to March 17, with extra performances added for March Break week.
Indian Canadian actor, singer and musician Natalia Gracious stars as Mary Lennox, a spoiled, contrary, solitary child raised in India but sent to live in her uncle’s manor in Yorkshire after her parents' death. Left to wander his gloomy old estate, Mary lashes out at those around her. Then…she discovers a mysterious hidden garden. Her quest to find out more about the garden leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the house. These revelations, combined with the unlikely friendships she makes along the way, help Mary come out of her shell and find new fascination with the world around her.

Natalia is a graduate of Sheridan Institute’s Musical Theatre - Performance program. Her past credits include Pepper in Annie (YPT); Anjali in Beneath the Banyan Tree (Theatre Direct); Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (The Grand Theatre); and Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense (Harbourfront Theatre). Upcoming credits include Pandora in the world premiere of Lysistrata & the Temple of Gaia (Odyssey Theatre) and Hannah in the film Winter (Glamour Cuts Productions). When she is not performing on stage Natalia loves teaching drama and music, often at YPT! She is also one half of the YouTube comedy duo ‘No Funny Business Entertainment’ which you can enjoy at

Directed by Allen MacInnis,

The Secret Garden features Simon Bracken, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Natalia Gracious, Dan Lett, Sarah Mennell, Jake Runeckles and Benjamin Sutherland.

With Set Designer Teresa Przybylski, Costume Designer Anna Treusch, Lighting Designer Lesley Wilkinson, Sound Designer Debashis Sinha. Assistant Director Ramona Gilmour-Darling, Stage Manager Kate Sandeson, and Assistant Stage Manager Emily Mewett.

By Paul Ledoux, adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Directed by Allen MacInnis


Recommended for ages 6-12 | Runs approx. 85 minutes

Opening: Thursday, February 8 at 7PM | Media Opening: Thursday, February 8 at 11:45AM

Weekend performances: Feb. 10-11 at 2:30PM | Feb. 17 at 2:30PM | Feb. 18 at 1PM & 4PM | Feb. 24-25 at 11 AM & 2:30PM | Mar. 3 at 1PM & 4PM | Mar 4. At 2:30PM | Mar. 10 at 2:30PM | Mar. 11 at 1PM & 4PM | Mar. 17 at 2:30PM 

Playing Family Day: Mon. Feb. 19 at 2:30PM

March Break Performances: Mar. 12, 14 & 16 at 2:30PM | Mar. 13 & 15 at 11AM & 2:30PM

Relaxed Performances: Sun. Mar. 4 at 2:30PM | Tues. Mar. 6 at 10:15AM

ASL Shadow Interpreted Performances:
Fri. Feb. 23 at 11AM | Sat. Feb. 24 at 11AM

Full performance schedule, including School Matinees (open to the public) available online

The Secret Garden
Family Workshops
: Family Day – Mon. Feb. 19, 1PM-2PM | Sun. Mar. 4, 1PM-2PM

Young People’s Theatre
| 165 Front Street East, Toronto

: $10-$45, HST & service charges extra; prices subject to change without notice


Box Office
416.862.2222 x2 | For more information visit

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


QR Code

QR Code


Help us provide you insight into South Asian issues.

Find us on linkedin
Follow Us