NOW in its 20th year of reviving some of literature's most celebrated plays, Chapterhouse Theatre Company is returning to Dorset.

On Friday, August 30, the company will perform a brand-new production of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden at Athelhampton House and Gardens near Dorchester.

Adapted for stage by Laura Turner, the story follows young Mary Lennox on a journey of discovery as she is sent to her uncle's house in the countryside, where mysteries and secrets lurk around every corner. As she makes new friends and encounters magical creatures, Mary has one burning question: where is the location of her uncle’s secret garden, and where has he hidden the key?

The performance promises to be a highlight of summer, with audiences invited to bring rugs or low-backed seating to enjoy the show.

Laura said: “It's been a pleasure to be involved with Chapterhouse's productions over the last decade and this year is no exception. I'm delighted to see some of my favourite classic stories coming to life on stage. I hope audiences young and old alike find plenty to enjoy.”

Richard Main, artistic director and producer, added: "We are thrilled to still be joining our audiences at beautiful venues for this, our twentieth year as a company. I am excited to be working with our creative teams of actors and directors, as well as with Laura Turner, who beautifully adapts the shows for the stage. Last year we were lucky with a long, hot summer – we’ve got our fingers crossed for this year!”

Chapterhouse Theatre Company brings classical theatre productions to country houses, castles and heritage sites across the UK and Ireland. First formed in 2000, where it performed Romeo and Juliet at just 30 venues, the company now puts on plays at more than 180 sites every year and has developed a reputation as one of the most successful and acclaimed touring companies in the country. It has also toured shows in Saudi Arabia and China, and has performed A Christmas Carol to venues across the UK for the past three years.

This year, the company will be working with The Red Box Project, a community-based initiative which aims to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools. Founded in Portsmouth in 2017, the project now works across the country. For more information about the work of The Red Box Project, visit

*The Secret Garden, Athelhampton House and Gardens near Dorchester, Friday, August 30. Gates will open at 6pm and guests are invited to explore the gardens before the show begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are £16 for adults, £11 for children or £46 for a family of four. Tickets can be purchased via the Athelhampton House website, by contacting Dorchester TIC or by visiting