Project 2019 – The Secret Garden

Project 2019 Cancelled (13/12/18)

The Project Production Team are sad to announce that we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel our 2019 production of The Secret Garden.  Unfortunately we were unable to attract sufficient members to cast the show.  We are very grateful to all the members who gave up their time to audition and show their support.

Previous Notices

Auditions are still open!

Thank you to everyone who came to our auditions at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Wittering.

Due to some gaps remaining in casting, the production team are making a final push to get the word out to those who may be interested in being involved.  If you were unable to make the audition dates but would still like to be considered, please do contact our director, Pat Russell at

[You can also download and keep this Character information]

Rehearsals begin in March 2019 so there is still time to pull together a fantastic team.

Breaking News! Do you want to audition for Project 2019? Here are the details:

[You can also download and keep this Audition Information and Character information]

We will be holding open auditions on 10 November 2018 at Brize Norton Station Conference Facility and 17 November at RAF Wittering Golden Lion pub. There will be two sessions to choose from on each day (10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm). If you are intending to come along, please contact with your name and car registration number (if coming by car), indicating which session you will be attending. We can then ensure that you have all the information you need for the day.

Rehearsals will be held from March over 6 weekends, once a month, at either MOD Shrivenham or RAF Wittering. We are happy to arrange service accommodation for attendees at a reasonable rate. During project week, members share accommodation they rent for the week.

Project 2019 – The Secret Garden @ The Key Theatre Peterborough, performing 5-7 September 2019

I am very happy to be able to tell you that the RAFTA Committee has chosen Pat Russell to direct Project 2019, to bring to the stage her vision of ‘The Secret Garden’ (Jessica Swale’s adaptation of France Hodgson Burnett’s classic and much-loved children’s story). The Committee has asked Pat to pull together the core of a production team prior to One Act Play Festival 2018; by this point, the aim is for the team to comprise Pat, a producer, an assistant director or choreographer, and at least one person in a technical or stage management role.

The Committee were impressed by Pat’s enthusiasm and her vision for the play. The Secret Garden requires a number of things that provide challenge to RAFTA. It requires: adults to act as children; the creation and operation of beautiful puppets; multiple rapid scene changes; the development of new music to fit the play’s 2 unscored songs; and, the ability to reveal and grow the wondrous Secret Garden.

Pat plans to take The Secret Garden to Peterborough’s Key theatre from 4 to 7 September 2019 (performances from 5 to 7 September). If you want to be a part of this exciting new Project for RAFTA, please look at the details in the RAFTA Project 2019 Recruiting Letter and get in touch ASAP with Pat Russell (

Project 2019 selection ‘call to arms’

Project is Back! Yes, the amazing opportunity that is known as the ‘RAFTA Project’ is back. The last RAFTA Project was in 2015; we skipped Project 2017 (deliberate pause) and didn’t choose Project 2018 (a story for the bar…). Now we need your help to launch RAFTA Project 2019!

The first thing that we are looking for is your ideas for what you think RAFTA should do for Project 2019; please send these to by 10 Dec 2017, as per the guidance in the RAFTA Project 2019 Invite Letter. Please read the Invite Letter (it is much shorter than the ones from the last few Projects, and asks for input from as many RAFTA members as possible, not just from prospective directors…).

If you think you might want to direct Project 2019, please keep the weekend of 24/25 Feb free, as our director’s workshop will be held that weekend at Corsham (see the Invite Letter).