The Secret Garden – Audition Pack

Copies of these scenes will be provided on arrival at the auditions and there may be additional pieces which are not supplied here. We do not expect you to be word perfect or ‘off script’ at the audtions.


Audition piece #1 Mary and Martha

Martha: Good morning. How are thee this mornin’? It’ll do tha’ no good lyin’ in bed all day. Well look here, you haven’t touched your dinner.

Mary: It’s disgusting.

Martha: Well I never, and here’s me sneaking it out of the kitchen for thee. There be plenty of kids goin’ hungry, who’d clear that bare in five minutes.

Mary: I don’t know what it is to be hungry.

Martha: It would do thee some good to try it. It’d make thee appreciate what tha’ has.

Mary: Give it to the hungry kids then. Who is going to dress me?

Martha: What does tha’ mean, dress you?

Mary: I’m still in my night gown.

Martha: I can see that. There’s plenty of clothes in the wardrobe. Wrap up warm, it’s cold out today.

Mary: [Doesn’t move]

Martha: I’ll look the other way if tha’s embarrassed.

Mary: How are you supposed to dress me with your back turned?

Martha: Dress you? What make tha’ think I’m goin’ to do that? Can’t tha’ dress yourself?

Mary: Don’t be ridiculous. My ayah would dress me.

Martha: Good heavens. I never heard of such a basket case.

Mary: I won’t be spoken to like that!

Martha: Now look here. I don’t know how tha’ was treated in India but it’s about time that tha’ learned else you’ll turn out a right fair fool as my mother says. The way these grand people’s children get turned out as though they were puppies has me so vexed.

Mary: I am not a puppy!

Martha: No? You know when I heard you was coming from India I thought you would be a native.

          A pause

Mary: A native. You. You daughter of a pig! A native! You utter, utter pig! What would you know of India? Of me? Nothing! You’re a servant girl and an utter pig!

Martha: Here, who does tha’ think tha’ is to be calling names?

Mary: I won’t be insulted, servant. [Throws herself down in a screaming tantrum]

Martha: Look here. I didn’t mean to insult. I don’t know anything about India Miss. You needn’t be so vexed. Beg pardon Miss.


Audition piece #2 Mary, Mrs Medlock, Port Official, Children chorus

Children: There she is – Has anyone heard her talk? – I have, lived in a big house with servants and gardens and finery. [Chanting together]

Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells, and marigolds all in a row.

Mary: Go away, the lot of you.

Children: So sour – Mistress Mary, quite contrary – Nasty little girl.

          Enter a port official

Port official: This way ladies and gents. Children awaiting collection form a line over hear. All other passengers to customs please. Form a line.

Mary: [Marches up to the official.] Who is to collect me?

Port official: Join the line little girl.

Mary: I asked you who is to collect me!

Port official: You and every other child on this ship. Join the line missy.

Children:[All together] Mistress Mary, quite contray.

Port official: Order. Move along. It’s no good mithering me little girl. You’ll just have to wait your turn.

Mary: I am Mary Lennox and…

Port official: Oh Lord above. Mary Lennox, is anyone here for a Mary Lennox? [Silence] Anyone for a Miss Mary Lennox? [Silence]

          The children start to laugh

Port official: There you have it. Now please step aside.

Mary: [Moves aside, sullen]

          The rest of the children exit.

          Enter Mrs Medlock

Medlock: Mary Lennox. Mary Lennox? Well, my word. [To the port official] Is this Mary Lennox?

Port official: So I’ve been told.

Medlock: I’ve been sent to collect her by Lord Archibald Craven, her uncle and guardian.

Port official: He has my greatest sympathy.

Medlock: How plain, and her mother was a beauty. Unresponsive too.

Port official: [raising an eyebrow] Children change.

Medlock: Indeed. Though it has to be said that there is little chance of that at Mistlethwait manor. Come along.

          The Port official exits

Medlock: You needn’t have such a scowl on your face. You’re not the only one who’d rather not be here. Well dressed and as pale as a new born. Come along.

Mary: Who are you?

Medlock: Mrs Medlock, housekeeper at Misselthwaite manor. Come along. Misselthwaite is no home for a child and if it were up to me you would be off to a boarding school. You’ll have to keep yourself to yourself. None of the staff nor I will have the time to entertain you.

Mary: When will I see my uncle?

Medlock: You won’t. He never takes the trouble to see anyone and you’re no different. He spends his time in his study which is out of bounds to all but himself. Then one day he’ll call for the carriage and be up and gone for months on end. You’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of him. He’s kept his own company ever since his wife died. Locked himself away near on ten years now. Your aunt’s dead you know. Did your mother never tell you?

Mary: No.

Medlock: Well I never, fancy not telling you a thing like that.

Mary: My mother wouldn’t take the trouble to tell stories.


Audition piece #3 Mary and Ben

Mary: Hey, you there!

Ben:[Ignores her and starts working.]

Mary: Where’s the way into that other garden?

Ben: What?

Mary: The other garden, beyond that wall. I couldn’t find the way in.

Ben: Aye and you’d better keep it that way.

Mary: What do you mean? Why shouldn’t I go in there?

Ben: Same reason me nor anyone else ain’t allowed in.

Mary: And what reason is that?

          Enter the robin.

Ben: [Focuses on the robin ignoring Mary.]

Mary: Don’t ignore me. I’m talking to you.

Ben: [To the robin] Hello there.

Mary: I can’t stand the way these people behave.

Ben: You’ll get no answers talkin’ like that. Look at him, cheeky beggar. Reckon he wants to make friends with thee.

Mary: Why?

Ben: No idea.

Mary: How do you know?

Ben: He’s taken a fancy to thee. He’ll show you all round the garden if tha’ follows him.

Mary: Really?

Ben: Now don’t go pokin’ your nose in places it don’t belong. No one’s been inside that garden for ten years.

Mary: Why…wait. Ten years. My uncle’s wife died ten years ago.

Ben: [Gathers up his tools] Be off with you. Noisy madam.

          Exit Ben

Mary: [To the robin] Show me if you know the way.

          The robin doesn’t move.

Mary: I’m talking to a bird.

          Exit Mary.


Audition piece #4 Mary and Dickon

Dickon: Mornin’ Miss Mary.

Mary: [starting] You’re Dickon.

Dickon: Aye that I am.

Mary: You have a bird on your shoulder.

Dickon: I know that. This is Soot. Handsome chap ain’t he?

Mary: He’s a crow.

Dickon: Aye that he is.

          Enter the robin.

Mary: There’s the robin.

Dickon: Aye. Ben told me all about him wantin’ to be friends with thee.

Mary: Do you really think he does?

          The robin moves closer to Mary.

Dickon: He wouldn’t come near thee if he didn’t.

Mary: [moves towards the robin who suddenly bursts into song.]

Dickon: See he’s a showin’ off to thee. Don’t make no sudden moves.

          They watch the robin for a moment. Exit the robin.

Mary: Where did he go?

Dickon: Over that wall. He’s the only one who’s set foot in there for years and he’ll be right busy too. This time of year he’ll be off and lookin’ for a mate. He’ll be causin’ quite a stir I reckon. Then there’ll be nest buildin’ and before tha’ knows it he’ll have many a hungry youngen to feed. Aye there be no rest for the wicked.

Mary: He’s not the only one.

Dickon: What’s that Miss?

Mary: Can you keep a secret?

Dickon: Corse. The animals tell me all their secrets and I’d never tell one of ‘em.

Mary: You won’t tell anyone my secret will you?

Dickon: Sure as day I won’t.

Mary: I’ve found the way, into that garden.

Dickon: Really? How?

Mary: It was the robin who showed me the gate.

Dickon: Well Miss Mary. He really has taken a likin’ to thee.

Mary: Only I think it may be dead.

Dickon: Eh?

Mary: The whole garden in brown and knotted and covered in this cold stuff.

Dickon: Doesn’t tha’ know what that is?

Mary: No. What is it?

Dickon: That’s frost Miss. In the winter when the cold comes down it covers everything but it’ll melt soon as the sun comes up proper. And that garden won’t be dead.

Mary: How do you know?

Dickon: That’s what plants do Miss. When the cold comes they lose their leaves and go to sleep till it gets warmer. It’s their way of life Miss.

Mary: Will you be able to tell, if I show you?

Dickon: Sure.


Audition piece #5 Mary and Dickon

Colin: [wakes up] Are you a dream?

Mary: No. Who are you?

Colin: I’m Colin Craven.

Mary: Crav…

Colin: Are you real?

Mary: Yes.

Colin: Come here. My dreams can be so real.

Mary: I am really here. I’m Mary Lennox and Lord Craven is my uncle.

Colin: He’s my father.

Mary: No one mentioned that he had a boy.

Colin: Where did you come from?

Mary: From my room. I couldn’t sleep. I heard you crying.

Colin: No one told me you were here. They daren’t.

Mary: Why not?

Colin: Orders. I can’t stand people talking about me and I hate people seeing me like this.

Mary: Like what?

Colin: I’m ill. I’m always ill and having to lie down. My farther is terrified that I’ll end up like him. Crippled. I’ll be a hunchback if I live, but I shan’t live.

Mary: You…do you go anywhere in the house?

Colin: Never. I stay here because I don’t want to leave this room. It tires me too much.

Mary: Does…does your father come to see you?

Colin: Never. He doesn’t want to look at me. He thinks I don’t know, but I hear people talking. They say that I remind him of my mother. She died years ago and now he hates me.

Mary: And that’s why he hates the garden.

Colin: What garden?

Mary: Oh, I mean. Just a garden, one of the gardens. She liked it.

Colin: You see that curtain. Pull it back.

Mary: [Crosses to one of the hanging cloths and draws it back to reveal a painting of Lady Craven which is the exact resemblance of Mary’s mother] They were twins.

Colin: What was that?

Mary: Our mothers were sisters. I didn’t know they were identical.

Colin: My father hates that picture.

Mary: Why do you keep it covered up?

Colin: She died and yet looks so happy. I’m alive but ill.

Mary: You’ve never left this house?

Colin: Once I was taken to the seaside but people stared at me in my chair. So now I don’t ever want to go out again and I don’t want anyone to see me either.

Mary: If so shall I go?

Colin: No. Stay.

Mary: Ok.

Colin: My father goes away all the time. Stay.

Mary: I will.

Colin: Everyone is obliged to do what pleases me.

Mary: Even Mrs Medlock?

Colin: Yes. While my father is away I am in charge of this place. The only one who never listens is that Dr Craven.

Mary: Who is he?

Colin: He’s my father’s cousin and the only person my father will allow to examine me. He prescribes me medicines but none of them work. I take every potion he dreams up and I’m still always ill. I think [he beckons to Mary] I think he’s really not trying to make me better at all.

Mary: Why?

Colin: Well if I die he will inherit Misselthwaite. My father is a hunchback too so he will die soon and with the both of us gone this whole house will be his.

A moment’s silence.

Colin: What is it?

Mary: The gardens made me better.

Colin: What?

Mary: When I first came here my hair was scrawny. I had no colour to my face and no energy to do anything. I was sent outside and told that it would do me a world of good. I didn’t believe them at first but it worked. It really worked. I can run and skip and eat more food than I ever imagined. Maybe it would work for you.

Colin: What about that garden?

Mary: Which garden?

Colin: The one my farther hates. If he hates it then I would feel at home there. What’s that one like?

Mary: No one has been allowed into it for years.

Colin: Where is it?

Mary: It’s…behind the vegetable garden.

Colin: Have you ever looked for the way in?

Mary: No. I couldn’t find it.

Colin: Have you asked the servants?

Mary: They won’t tell me. They’ve been forbidden to talk about it.

Colin: I could make them.

Mary: Would you?

Colin: Certainly. I want to feel something other than this room. I don’t just want to read about things anymore. Tell me. Tell me what it is like out there.


Audition piece #6 Archibald and Mary

Archibald: Come here.

Mary: [Takes a nervous step forward.]

Archibald: Further child.

Mary: [Moves a little further into the room.]

Archibald: [After a moment he looks up] Lord above. You are…uh, forgive me. Are you well?

Mary: Yes. Sir.

Archibald: You look rather pale.

Mary: I’m getting stronger.

Archibald: Indeed. Your eyes. They’re. They’re just like…uh, are you being well fed?

Mary: Yes sir.

Archibald: I understand you are in Martha’s care?

Mary: Yes sir.

Archibald: Is she treating you well child?

Mary: Yes, sir.

Archibald: How do you spend your time?

Mary: I. I, play, outdoors. Sir.

Archibald: Outdoors?

Mary: In the garden sir.

Archibald: In the garden?

Mary: Yes sir. Martha says it is good for me to be in the fresh air. I have a skipping rope she gave to me. I run and skip and look at things, plants, as they grow.

Archibald: Good heavens. I knew someone who, enjoyed then garden as you do.

Mary: I don’t do any harm.

Archibald: You look too frightened. There is so little for a child in this house. To that end Medlock advises me to send you to a boarding school.

Mary: No please. What I need is…well.

Archibald: What is it child?

Mary: Could I have…could I have a bit of earth?

Archibald: Earth?

Mary: To plant seed in-to make things grow and come alive.

Archibald: Does the garden mean so much to you?

Mary: Yes sir.

Archibald: Very well. Nothing will come of it but perhaps fresh air will make you stronger. Take your bit of earth.

Mary: May I take it from anywhere, if it’s not wanted?

Archibald: Anywhere! You must go [Mary exits] and so must I.


Audition piece #7 Archibald, Mrs Medlock, Martha, Ben and a servant

Mrs Medlock: Gone!

Servant: Miss Mary is not in her room either.

Mrs Medlock: How did he get passed you?

Martha: I don’t know. I never heard a thing, all night, nothin’.

Mrs Medlock: Retched girl.

Martha: I’m sorry Mrs Medlock…

Mrs Medlock: That pig headed little girl.

Martha: Eh…

Mrs Medlock: If she has gone too then no doubt she has something to do with this. Well don’t just stand there! Search the house. Search the grounds and if they’re not found you can expect hell from me!

Martha: I’m sorry Mrs…

Mrs Medlock: Save it. The boy’s health is what is important so concern yourself with that.

          Enter Archibald.

Martha: Your lordship!

Mrs Medlock: Good lord.

Archibald: What’s going on?

Mrs Medlock: Your lordship we didn’t know that you were to come home so soon.

Archibald: Where’s my son?

[Pause]

Archibald: Where’s my son?

          Martha exits sobbing. The servant follows her.

Mrs Medlock: We, we, the child your Lordship. We don’t know.

[Pause]

Archibald: Go on.

Mrs Medlock: We put master Colin to bed last night. He hadn’t eaten so Martha was to stay in the next room, just in case. This morning, he, he… [Mrs Medlock breaks down]

          Enter Ben Weatherstaff.

Archibald: My cousin’s letter, it said that he had slipped into madness. Is this so?

Mrs Medlock: Yes. He, he’s had tantrums of course but this, this was frightful.

Archibald: You locked him in?

Mrs Medlock: Yes. That is to say we only locked one door just so he couldn’t wheel himself out in his chair.

Archibald: And the door was still locked this morning?

Mrs Medlock: Yes.

Archibald: Someone helped him. The child…she’s missing too?

Mrs Medlock: Yes.

[Pause]

Ben: Beg pardon sir.

Archibald: Weatherstaff?

Ben: They be in the garden sir.

Medlock: Good heavens.

Archibald: Stay here. All of you! [Exits]