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The Secret Garden Forum


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One of our local theaters is doing the show this spring, and I had barely heard about it until that was announced. However, after listening through the music I think it's great and do wish it was more well-known


Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:30 pm
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As a show, it's pretty good, but as an ADAPTATION of the novel, which many people know, it's not so hot.

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Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:53 pm
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^why do you think it's not a good adaption of the book? I'm curious about your reasoning on this.

I actually think it's better than the book, and I loved it when I was younger, and would watch the movie all the time.


Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:40 pm
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The Very Angry Woman wrote:
And it's hard to stage. Not a lot of people want to go the extra mile to find kids that talented.


Our Mary was 16. But she looked younger, so it worked.

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Lily- Secret Garden Forum Cast 2008


Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:58 pm
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ConverseSneaker wrote:
^why do you think it's not a good adaption of the book? I'm curious about your reasoning on this.

I actually think it's better than the book, and I loved it when I was younger, and would watch the movie all the time.


To be a good adaptation of the novel it would need to be true to the novel. The musical The Secret Garden is true in the spirit, the lesson of the novel, but it is not true in the telling of the story, and some of the characters used. Among other things (granted I read the novel years ago, but I think this is how I remember it).....Lily (Lilias) is mentioned very little, and her ghost is not in the novel. There are no "Dreamers". I don't believe that Mary's mother even has a name. In the novel, I believe that Lilias is sister to Mary's father, not her mother. Martha and Dickon's mother plays a large part in the action in the novel.

I'm not saying that the musical isn't good... I love it! But, it is not a true adaptation of the novel. Even some of the film versions that exist are not true to the novel. I know in one (the one with Maggie Smith as Medlock) Lily and Rose are twin sisters.

There are tremendous difficulties in distilling a good sized novel down to a 2+ hour show. I think the use of Lily and the dreamers to help Mary was a wonderful idea. And, of course, Lily's interaction with Archie, and his ultimate redemption, brings that element of romance that is expected in a musical.


Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:11 am
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wow now i don't want to read the book i was seriously thinking about it and now i know that the musical is def. better in my oppinion

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Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:58 am
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Melindaisy wrote:
ConverseSneaker wrote:
^why do you think it's not a good adaption of the book? I'm curious about your reasoning on this.

I actually think it's better than the book, and I loved it when I was younger, and would watch the movie all the time.


To be a good adaptation of the novel it would need to be true to the novel. The musical The Secret Garden is true in the spirit, the lesson of the novel, but it is not true in the telling of the story, and some of the characters used. Among other things (granted I read the novel years ago, but I think this is how I remember it).....Lily (Lilias) is mentioned very little, and her ghost is not in the novel. There are no "Dreamers". I don't believe that Mary's mother even has a name. In the novel, I believe that Lilias is sister to Mary's father, not her mother. Martha and Dickon's mother plays a large part in the action in the novel.

I'm not saying that the musical isn't good... I love it! But, it is not a true adaptation of the novel. Even some of the film versions that exist are not true to the novel. I know in one (the one with Maggie Smith as Medlock) Lily and Rose are twin sisters.

There are tremendous difficulties in distilling a good sized novel down to a 2+ hour show. I think the use of Lily and the dreamers to help Mary was a wonderful idea. And, of course, Lily's interaction with Archie, and his ultimate redemption, brings that element of romance that is expected in a musical.


I know that is is not a perfect adaption of the book for all the reasons you have pointed out, but I still think it's a great adaption. Isn't that the point of the word adaption? To adapt means to make something fit?


Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:48 pm
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Melindaisy wrote:
ConverseSneaker wrote:
^why do you think it's not a good adaption of the book? I'm curious about your reasoning on this.

I actually think it's better than the book, and I loved it when I was younger, and would watch the movie all the time.


To be a good adaptation of the novel it would need to be true to the novel. The musical The Secret Garden is true in the spirit, the lesson of the novel, but it is not true in the telling of the story, and some of the characters used. Among other things (granted I read the novel years ago, but I think this is how I remember it).....Lily (Lilias) is mentioned very little, and her ghost is not in the novel. There are no "Dreamers". I don't believe that Mary's mother even has a name. In the novel, I believe that Lilias is sister to Mary's father, not her mother. Martha and Dickon's mother plays a large part in the action in the novel.

I'm not saying that the musical isn't good... I love it! But, it is not a true adaptation of the novel. Even some of the film versions that exist are not true to the novel. I know in one (the one with Maggie Smith as Medlock) Lily and Rose are twin sisters.

There are tremendous difficulties in distilling a good sized novel down to a 2+ hour show. I think the use of Lily and the dreamers to help Mary was a wonderful idea. And, of course, Lily's interaction with Archie, and his ultimate redemption, brings that element of romance that is expected in a musical.
In addition, in the original story, it was an earthquake, not cholera, that killed them, and there was no Neville Craven either, I don't think.


Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:46 pm
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ConverseSneaker wrote:
I know that is is not a perfect adaption of the book for all the reasons you have pointed out, but I still think it's a great adaption. Isn't that the point of the word adaption? To adapt means to make something fit?


I suppose that we would need to agree on a definition of good (or great).


Is it good in the sense that the product is of quality, or worthy of esteem? .... in my opinion, yes, it is. I think the show itself is well written, the music is absolutely lovely, and the concept of the dreamers very interesting.

Is it good in that it has the appropriate qualities to fit its purpose?. .. again yes..... it tells the basic story in the frame of a musical, and tells it well.

Is it good in that it gives pleasure? ...... well, that is subjective.... but, for me, yes it is.

Is it good in that it is acceptable as true or genuine? .......... Here is where we get into problems. There are many changes in the characters (you are right , Pannic, I don't think Neville... one of the most interesting characters in the musical... is in the novel) and in some events ( again Pannic, right... it was an earthquake, at least in the one film version). Is it a literal translation from the novel to the stage? no. So if that is what people use to judge how "good" an adaptation it is, then no would be the answer, in my opinion.

Look at the adaptation of Wicked ( and I don't want to open a can of worms here so don't anyone start going off on Wicked, we are not debating it here...). The musical itself is successful. People enjoy it. It translates the novel to the realm of musical comedy. However, it changes characters from the novel, changes situations, changes the whole feeling of the book. Most people do not consider it a "good" adaptation of the novel, yet many people really love the musical.

I think it is a rare thing for people to be satisfied with the translation of a novel to the stage or screen. There are always things that get left out, characters combined, situations changes.... all in the name of condensing a several hundred page work to a time span that people can sit and watch.


Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:24 am
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Wicked is an ok musical without comparison to the book, it entertains people and many do like it, but a horrid adaption in my opinion.

As for the Secret Garden the book, Neville actually is in it as cameo and her parents really did die of cholera.

As for my opinon, I think it is an excellent adaption and an excellent musical on it's own.

Bravo, Melindaisy, for your reasoning and points. =D> I enjoy debates when I'm against an opponent who can hold thier own in a reasonable manner, like you have just demonstrated.


Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:03 pm
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Tony Winner
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Well, thank you, you are very kind!

As I thought about it yesterday, I did recall that it was in the Maggie Smith film that Mary's parents died in an earthquake. I didn't remember Neville from the book, but it has been a long time since I read the novel.

I really love the musical version ... I think it translates the novel to the stage in an effective way.

:)


Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:32 am
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Neville was barely and rarely mentioned. But he was still Archie's brother and Colin's doctor. I remember one part in the book when he was puzzled about how much better Colin and Mary look, but they were eating nothing(becaue Mrs. Sowerby, Dickon and Martha's mother, was feeding them).


Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:53 am
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