Preview: The Secret Garden – magical stage adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless novel, by Cape Town Theatre Company – with puppets, lavish set and costumes- December 9 – 17, 2022

The Secret Garden When: December 9 – 17, 2022

Where: The Star Theatre at HCC (Homecoming Centre- formerly The Fugard), Cape Town
Company: Cape Town Theatre Company
Tickets: From R150
Booking platform: Quicket
Booking link:
Running time: 2 hours (with a 20-minute interval)
Age advisory: Family
The Star Theatre at HCC:
Parking: Available at the parking lot on Caledon Street Wheelchair accessibility for main stalls

Scroll down for production and creative credits

Cape Town Theatre Company is wrapping up the year with The Secret garden, adapted from the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This opulent production is for all ages and has a cast of 22 and features ten puppets (made from a range of materials – including wire, driftwood and wool) and eight puppeteers. Direction is by Stephan Fourie. He has adapted the script (from the novel), with Hema Maskowitz. The puppets have been designed and made by Khalil Visser. Bravo to Cape Town Theatre Company for its innovation and for providing a vital platform for the live arts sector and for taking on interesting productions. Read on for more:

Magical stage adaptation of timeless novel premieres this summer- The Secret Garden at The Star Theatre at HCC December 9 – 17, 2022

“Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words, and everything in the world understands it.”

                                                                                                         Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

About the production – The Secret Garden

Cape Town Theatre Company returns with a magical new production at the heart of its summer season. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s iconic and much-loved tale is re-imagined for the stage by the uniquely imaginative mind of award-winning designer and director Stephan Fourie. The show is a vibrant feast for the eyes, taking audiences on a mystical whirlwind adventure as they discover the secrets of a mysterious hidden garden. A talented cast of 23 performers tell the story of orphaned Mary Lennox, who finds herself living in her cruel uncle’s manor. Alone and frightened, yet stubborn as ever, she explores the grounds and discovers a magical secret garden. She is joined on her adventure by Dickon, a boy who talks to animals, and her sickly cousin Colin, who matches her stubbornness and grumpy manner.

This extravagant production contains all the ingredients of a magical theatrical adventure, with gorgeous puppets, enormous sets, vibrant choreography and a heart-warming story performed by a stellar cast at the centre of it all.

The Secret Garden is the must-see family outing in Cape Town’s vibrant summer entertainment catalogue. Experience the wonder of this tale as never seen before.

Project overview

The Cape Town Theatre Company is one of Cape Town’s most prolific creators of theatre within the city, and are thrilled to produce the iconic tale of Mary Lennox, as she heals from the pain of her past within her magical garden. The Secret Garden is the latest theatrical outing in this illustrious company’s repertoire, and sees the company returning to the newly reopened Star Theatre at HCC (formerly the site of the beloved Fugard Theatre in the heart of Cape Town), following their sold-out smash run of The Great Gatsby earlier this year.  The production is crafted for the whole family, and promises to enthral and immerse children young and old into the wonderful world created by some of our city’s best designers.

Notes from the director

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel has been immortalised in popular culture as a timeless children’s classic. Her understanding of the importance of family and positive affirmation has become standard vocabulary in modern-day psychology, giving this more than 100-year-old novel a contemporary voice that resonates with people of all ages. Translating this beloved work to the stage has allowed us to explore the magic and theatricality of her story. Our staging uses strong visual and sensory devices to transport the audience into a truly immersive world, forgetting about reality for just a moment. The cast of 23 permeates the stage with vibrant performances, filled to the brim with song, dance, puppetry and magic. It’s a classic tale retold for a modern family audience, filled with joy, hope and the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

                                                                                                                        Stephan Fourie, Director


Presented by – Cape Town Theatre Company
Production manager – Tasneem Karodia
Director – Stephan Fourie
Musical director – Tersia Harley
Choreographer – Antoinette De Villiers
Adaption – Stephan Fourie and Hema Maskowitz
Production designer – DeeJee Kruger
Set designer – Stephan Fourie
Costume designer – Kagiso Makgalemele
Lighting designer – Hema Maskowitz
Puppet designer -Khalil Visser

CAST- there are two casts –‘portrait cast’ and ‘landscape cast’  

Mary Lennox – Mia-Cecilia Kriel [portrait cast]
Mary Lennox – Tessa Bottomley [landscape cast]
Dickon – Matt Blerk 
Dickon – Killian Blerk
Colin Craven – Ray Lester [landscape cast]
Colin Craven – Toby De Ruiter [portrait cast]
Mrs Medlock – Regina Malan
Ben Weatherstaff – Robert Shenton
Martha – Sarah-Kate Bergstedt
Mrs Sowerby – Jessica Stanley
Mr Craven – Marius Steyn  


Aimee Els [portrait cast]
Baylen Boer
Clifton Wagenstroom [portrait cast]
Daniel Wright [landscape cast]
Emily Johnson [landscape cast]
Emily Joshua [landscape cast]
Jodi Mummery
Joyce Lubbe
Linda Steele
Lorraine Makholiso
Louis Botes [portrait cast]
Megan Armstrong-Davies
Taryn Shenton


Stage Manager – Morag Tison
Production secretary – Morag Tison
Assistant stage manager – Melanie Moses
Marketing manager – Justin Veldsman
Scenic artist – Marna Wright
Graphic Designer – Christoff van Wyk
Photographer – Martin Kluge            
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