A PLAY has been commissioned by the Queen's Hall Arts Centre in Hexham.

The Secret Garden, written by Lisette Auton and Becci Sharrock, will premiere at Hexham Book Festival on Sunday, June 12 at 5pm, before touring venues across the region.

The reimagining of the classic tale will feature new folk songs performed by the cast, introducing a new generation to a tale of friendship, secrets and the human spirit, along with the transformational magic of the garden.

Director Ali Pidsley said: "Working on this project is an absolute joy, and I am wonderfully excited by the artists and partners we are working with. 'The Secret Garden' is a hugely resonant story for me, personally, about the magic of imagination, the need we have for the natural world and young people supporting one another."

"We can't wait to share the end result with audiences who are familiar with this classic tale as well as those who are experiencing it for the first time."

Lennox, a 12 year old girl excluded from school, is sent to Northumberland and must rediscover herself and uncover the secret of the mysterious garden.

Lisette Auton said: "I'm excited about working in a new way that respects bodies and rest, and focuses on how to make this a brilliant process for everyone involved."