FROM puppeteers to stars of the show, budding young actors from Bury are looking forward to taking to the stage this Christmas.

A total of 24 youngsters, aged between nine and 15 and from Bury, Ramsbottom, Prestwich, Bolton and Rochdale, have joined the cast of The Met’s Christmas show, The Secret Garden.

They successfully auditioned with Proper Job Theatre Company in September to take on roles in the chorus, as puppeteers and principle characters, performing alongside professional actors.

Chloe Whitehead, director of The Secret Garden, said: “Proper Job are proud to invite young people from the local community to showcase their talents in our Christmas show.

“For the past three years, talented youngsters from Bury have played lead, support and chorus roles in our very popular seasonal productions at The Met, which has given them an experience to remember, both on and off stage.”

The 24 youngsters, split into two casts, are Hannah Park, Chloe Melia, Hugo Knowles, Lucy Dixon, Lily Kenny, Matthew Kidd, Francesca Jerry, Lydia Lucas, Joseph Beckett, Eleanor Holt, Flora Knowles, Ben Kidd, Kelsey Openshaw, Lili Donovan, Lisa Kambirienda, Molly Wainwright, Helena Price, Ellie Goddard, Lucy Toyne, Lily Ellis, Felix Knowles, Amelia Lucas, Kate Bannister, Connor Beckwith.

Amelia and Kate will split playing the principle role of Mary and Felix and Connor will alternate playing Colin.

Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel, The Secret Garden follows a spoilt 10-year-old girl, Mary, on enchanting adventures in her uncle’s secret garden.

Mary befriends a local boy, Dikon, and meets her sickly cousin, Colin, who had been hidden from her. Between them the three children work astonishing magic in themselves and those around them.

The cast began rehearsals at The Met during October half term holidays and are looking forward to taking to the stage, with the first performance of the production on Wednesday, December 11.

Full of lovable characters, including a mischievous robin, a down-to-earth maid and a good honest lad who can talk to animals, The Secret Garden is the fourth annual collaboration between The Met and Huddersfield’s Proper Job Theatre Company for the Christmas production, following previous successes with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Scrooge and Pinocchio.

The Secret Garden runs from Wednesday December 11 to Christmas Eve. Tickets start at £8. For more information or to book, phone 0161 761 2216 or visit