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Posted on: 12 December 2020

Since the announcement that St Albans has moved into Tier 4, we’re sorry to say we can no longer welcome audience members in person at the theatre. However, in more positive news – we will be streaming recorded performances of our Christmas show over the festive period.

If you have already booked in-theatre tickets, your tickets will be automatically changed to stream tickets. If you do not wish to watch the streamed performance, please contact us on to arrange for a refund or credit for future Company of Ten shows.

The Company of Ten’s Christmas production is a spell-binding retelling of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic The Secret Garden, a tale of transformation through the power of friendship. It runs from Saturday 19 to Wednesday 30 December.

Young Mary Lennox is orphaned in India and goes to stay with her uncle in Yorkshire. She doesn’t fit in to her new surroundings, but then she meets Dickon, whose life revolves around nature. Together the two grow closer and discover a secret garden – and as the garden transforms so do the lives of Mary, her uncle and her invalid cousin, and the power of new life casts its blessing over everyone.

According to the Sunday Independent, ‘Neil Duffield’s adaptation is as faithful as it is light in touch… there is joy here, there is hope, and there is a startling level of pure magical transcendence… An absolute ‘must see’.’ The Stage said that it ‘holds an audience of children spellbound’.

In other words, it’s the perfect family show for Christmas!

Director Katherine Barry is delighted to be bringing such a timeless classic to the Abbey Theatre audience. ‘If there was ever a time when we all needed a little bit of Christmas magic in our lives it is now. I love the story of The Secret Garden with its emphasis on making things better and beautiful through the transformative power of friendship and care.

‘My cast of six players and I spent the first few weeks rehearsing via Zoom which was a new one for me. Everyone has worked tremendously hard and they have adapted to the new way of doing things brilliantly. We can’t wait to share our show with audiences at home watching us via the internet.

‘The message of The Secret Garden is a pertinent one for us today, I think. Everyone has had a lot to deal with over the past year and I wouldn’t blame anyone for feeling a little gloomy. But caring for each other and working together will create a better world and a brighter future.’

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