The Secret Garden is a story of change and hope. Two child who gave life and spirit, and transformed their dull and misfortunate story.
Mary Lennox, a troubled 10-year old British girl with parents too wrapped up with their own lives and never bothered about her. Although born and raised in India, she was forced to live in India with her Uncle after being found alone, and fortunately alive from the cholera epidemic which killed her parents and the servants.
In England, she was still being selfish and rude, disliking everyone else. But as she starts to know people like Martha, a young chambermaid; Dickon, Martha's brother; and Ben, an old gardener, she was slowly being changed by their humanistic qualities. After discovering a story of a dying "secret garden" she became so eager to look for it in and perhaps own it. Her dventuruous mind led her to seeing an ill, bed-ridden boy, Colin, who she discovered to be her cousin.
The boy was locked all his life in a room where he struggled for his illness. He was also as stubborn as a kid with a transparently-looking soft heart.
The story goes on with these two children supporting each other as Mary helps in the process of fast healing of Colin, and Colin unknowingly giving a change of behavior toward Mary. Together, they gave hope to each other, as well as to the people around them, and kost especially to the dying garden which has magically blossomed.
Repertory Philippines' production of The Secret Garden was suitably made for the modern audience where extra humorous lines were augmented. The production is also for the family, especially for the children for them to have fun watching kids alike and learning what a child can do in their lives. The material used though is not like any of the Disney's because the subject tackles a little serious matter and uses much more realistic storyline, but a bit of magic plus the ghosts.
The staging was very amusing. Imagine a huge set that can be pulled in and out, made with platforms of different levels. It was used to separate different places for every scenes. It was also creative, but a definitive details could have been more elaborate as to which area they are on. It is especially for the garden for which they have used an imaginary set for it and used the space outside the stage overlooking the audience.
The lighting is colorful and playful, but there is a lack of focus on the lighting for the character. Maybe because of the characters' placement to the set. The sound were fine, it's just the venue's acoustics for the audience at the backmost were not much good.
The actors in this production were very much commendable. The show highlights these talented kids naming Ashlee Factor (12) and Ginger Karganilla (9) for the alternating role of Mary Lennox and Daniel Drilon (11), Albert Silos (10) and Noel Comia (11) for the role of Colin Craven. They alone did a spledid job for their roles and it's a lead role they are portraying. It is just amazing and inspiring how these kids can showcase such talents at their very young age, not to mention their theatrical experiences in several productions. It is no ordinary for children at their age to achieve what they have right now, who know what more they could do in the future. Let it be you to be the judge of their talents.
"We like to perform to make the audience happy," said Daniel Drillon.
The show will run from November 20 til December 20 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Ticket prices range from 500 to 1000. For more details call Repertory Philippines at 843-3570.
\This will surely be a treat to your family and your children. An early Christmas treat for everyone.
Review by : Daniel Cruz
Photos and Edited by : Axl Guinto