Bankstown Theatre Company's The Secret Garden with Caitlin Frazer and Annie Henderson

Young stars: Annie Henderson (left) and Caitlin Frazer (right) will share the role of Mary in the Bankstown Theatre Company production of The Secret Garden. Picture: Edward Rooke

Young stars: Annie Henderson (left) and Caitlin Frazer (right) will share the role of Mary in the Bankstown Theatre Company production of The Secret Garden. Picture: Edward Rooke

St George and Sutherland Shire have provided two young stars for the Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of The Secret Garden.

Engadine’s Annie Henderson and Mortdale’s Caitlin Frazer will share the leading child role of Mary Lennox in the show, which starts on Friday and runs until October 30 at the Bankstown Arts Centre.

The Secret Garden is an enchanting family musical re-imagined from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved Victorian children’s novel by composer Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman.

The Bankstown production is directed by Diane Wilson with Greg Crease as musical director and Edward Rooke as choreographer.

The play follows the story of 11-year-old Mary, orphaned in India and returning to Yorkshire to live with her reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son, Colin. Surrounded by spirits from the past, who both warn and welcome her, determined Mary begins to peel away the layers of sadness that cover the house and the garden, showing the power that a girl can have in a compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal. 

Captivated by musical theatre since the age of seven when she was an orphan in the show Annie with Rockdale’s Regals in 2011, Henderson, now aged 12, is in her 10th show and has performed locally in The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Gypsy and The Sound of Music as Marta von Trapp.

Earlier this year, Henderson finally got the chance to play her namesake, Annie, and is excited to take on the challenge of sharing the role of Mary Lennox with Frazer.

Secret Garden: Caitlin Frazer (left) with Neil Litchfield and Annie Henderson. Picture: Edward Rooke

Secret Garden: Caitlin Frazer (left) with Neil Litchfield and Annie Henderson. Picture: Edward Rooke

“I couldn’t do all this without the amazing support of mum and dad who are constantly chauffeuring me to and from rehearsals and auditions,” she said.

“I love the character of Mary as she has been through so much and is not happy when she gets to Yorkshire but comes to life through helping others and discovering this garden.”

Henderson will also be treading the boards with her dad, Scott, for the first time.

“I love the fact my dad has gone out of his comfort zone and decided to perform in this show with me,” she said.

Details: 0481 869 858 or bankstowntheatrecompany.com.

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