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Sickly Mary 
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Post Sickly Mary
I was posting about Lily's physical appearance, and what's mentioned about her in the book vs. the musical and everything, and it made me wonder if Mary's are ever made to resemble the description in the book. Mary is described as an unattractive, sickly little girl in the book. Every Mary I've seen (mostly pictures, but also in the production I saw) has a relatively attractive little girl playing Mary.

For reference, the book begins with the following description of Mary: "When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a thin little face and a thin little body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. ... So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also." As the book continues and she plays and gardens and gets fresh air and such, there are various descriptions of the physical improvements that are made as a result.

So my question is, has anyone ever seen a show that really pulled off the "sick to healthy" thing with Mary (or even attempted to)? When I saw the show, Mary's physical appearance didn't change beyond her clothing. The way she carried herself and her demeanor changed appropriately, but she didn't look any more or less sick at the end of the show than at the beginning.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:05 pm
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Post Re: Sickly Mary
hyperactress23 wrote:
When I saw the show, Mary's physical appearance didn't change beyond her clothing. The way she carried herself and her demeanor changed appropriately, but she didn't look any more or less sick at the end of the show than at the beginning.


This was pretty much my experience, except there was no 'emotional journey' from start to finish, if that makes sense.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:57 am
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Post Re: Sickly Mary
Dear "Secret Garden" Fans,

I think that this type of an interpretation would be totally interesting! Two to three different looks could be arranged for Mary:

1.) Pale, powdered face, pale lipstick, lightly wetted-down, stringy hair, clothing that kind of gives the illusion of a slightly unhealthy, thin appearance, etc.

2.) (Optional) Slightly less powdered face, light pink lipstick, neater hair, slightly fuller clothing, etc.

3.) No powder, but heavy blush, light red lipstick, pink eyeshadow on eyelids, nose, and chin, full hair, and clothing that gives the illusion of an extra, healthy pound or two.

Brilliant concept, the idea of improving Mary's health throughout the play! I love it!

Thanks in advance for your replies.
8-)

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:38 am
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