The Secret is out – Anthony Warlow returns to stage

Following the success of the 25th Anniversary Concert of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, well-loved Australian opera and theatre legend Anthony Warlow will return to Australian stages to reprise the role Archibald Craven in ‘The Secret Garden’.

The musical, based on the popular classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, opens at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in August 2020, before travelling to Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne in November 2020.

Celebrating its own 25th Anniversary, this special production of ‘The Secret Garden’ is produced by Opera Australia and Gordon Frost. It also brings together four of the original Broadway creative team, with the show is directed by Susan H Schulman, with choreography by Michael Lichtefeld, scenic design by Heidi Ettinger, and costume
design by Catherine Zuber.

Warlow will revisit the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-winning back in the shoes of his most acclaimed role, Archibald Craven, after last playing the master of Misselthwaite Manor in the 1995 Australian tour, with co-stars Marina Prior and Philip Quast.

Warlow’s versatility stretches far and wide, having entertained audiences since his 1981 stage debut with the Australian Opera in Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, at only 19-years of age. Since then, Warlow’s stage credits include creating the role of Dr Yurii Zhivago in the Australian premiere production of ‘Doctor Zhivago’ (2011), the Australian tours of ‘Annie’ (2000 and 2012), ‘Phantom of the Opera’ (1990 and 2007-2008) and creating the role of Enjolras in the Australian production of ‘Les Misérables’ (1988) – to name a few.

Warlow got his start in musical theatre in 1985 in ‘Guys and Doll’s at the National Theatre in London. Most recently, he led the cast of concert productions of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’.

Warlow is excited to be returning to the role after 24 years since the original production: “’The Secret Garden’ was a glorious production 25 years ago and I loved being a part of it. It’s a wonderful story and the music of Lucy Simon is extraordinary. When the opportunity came up to revisit the material with the original creative team and play Archibald Craven again with a new cast, I just couldn’t pass it up. I can’t wait to return to ‘The Secret Garden’.”

Premiering on Broadway in 1991 ‘The Secret Garden’ took New York by storm. Incredible reviews, six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score, 13 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Director of a Musical, and many international productions soon followed. For the first time in 25-years ‘The Secret Garden’ will delight Australian audiences once again, and enchant a new generation of musical theatre lovers.

For audiences unfamiliar of the tale, the story follows orphaned Mary Lennox, who arrives at her uncle’s home to find distant grieving relatives. She soon discovers a mysterious garden laden with secrets and discovers truths about herself, together with newfound friends.

The acclaimed score features classics such as ‘Winters of the Wing’, ‘A Bit of Earth’ and ‘Show me the Key’. Literary royalty Frances Hodgson Burnett first penned the iconic tale in 1911.

For tour dates, show information and ticketing details, visit

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