Race You to the Top of the Morning
Performing the role of Archibald Craven in the Secret Garden, singing Race You to the Top of the Morning.
I liked this role. What a meaty character. The whole musical play The Secret Garden is truly a work of musical theater, and drama. The role of Archibald Craven is one of sorrow, bitterness, grief, loss, loneliness, lost love, anger, love, and renewal.
Why is Archibald so sad?
The love of his life, his wife Lily, had died after childbirth, years before, and Archibald has never gotten over the loss of the only person who loved him as he was, a deformed hunchback. She saw him. She loved him. And he loved her, and then he lost her. Too soon.
But now Archibald is by his invalid son’s bedside, telling him a bedtime story of fighting dragons, before Archibald leaves for an extended trip to Paris. He’s running away, really. He’s running away from his home, his son, and his memory of Lily, whose memory he can’t escape. He thinks of her all the time.
Despite his sorrow, in this scene we see Archibalds’ tender relationship, and love for his son, even though he finds it hard to be in the same room with his son when the boy is awake. We also see his rage at the hand that fate has dealt him, and his son, and his sense of hope that somehow things will be better for the two of them, someday, as he tells his sleeping son he loves him. Words he is unable to say when the boy is awake.