The New Hardy Players bring the stories of Thomas Hardy to life through evocative dramatisations of his work

A few years ago, BBC Radio 4  recorded a programme about Norrie Woodhall and how her wish resurrected the troupe to form The New Hardy Players. President of the Thomas Hardy Society, Julian Fellows, recalls the stories from 100 years ago, and interviews present members.

The Last of the Hardy Players

2016 Main Production

This years main performance in December will be ” Under the Greenwood Tree”, Adapted by Jack Shepherd and Directed by Emma Hill/Tim Laycock

Venue: Dorchester Corn Exchange

Performance Date’s


Thursday 1 Dec-  7.30pm (doors and bar 7pm)-SOLD OUT

Friday 2 Dec-  7.30pm (doors and bar 7pm) – SOLD OUT

Saturday 3 Dec- 7.30pm (doors and bar 7pm)- SOLD OUT

Sunday 4 Dec- 2.30pm (doors and bar 2pm) and 7.30pm (doors and bar 7pm) –SOLD OUT


These are times of change…The New Hardy Players bring Under The Greenwood Tree to the stage at the Corn Exchange, where Thomas Hardy saw the original Hardy Players perform the first dramatization of this most light-hearted and humorous of the Wessex novels in 1910 to an audience including Thomas Hardy himself.

The 2016 adaptation has been written by renowned actor, playwright and director Jack Shepherd (Inspector Wycliffe) and cleverly tackles the social changes which rock the small community of Mellstock.  The production features music and song from a live band, and brings to the stage some of the best-loved characters in Hardy for audiences to enjoy.

An ideal Christmas show!

Book tickets via Dorchester Arts or 01305 266926

£12/£10/ £30 Family

The performance on Friday 2nd December and Saturday 3rd are now SOLD OUT! The  Sunday matinee is close to selling out.  Thursday and Sunday evening are over half sold.


The New Hardy Players formed in 2005, at the request of Norrie Woodhall on her 100th birthday, to celebrate the work of Dorset’s world famous and much loved author and poet Thomas Hardy.

We’re a friendly group and we’re always happy to welcome new people, so if you think you might like to get involved, either backstage or treading the boards, please get in touch. You can find more details here.


Over they years,the New Hardy Players have raised £33,500 for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, £1,000 for Julia’s House, and £14,000 for other local charities including Heroes Haven and Blind Veterans. We also helped the Dorset County Museum raise £58,000 to bring unique Hardy manuscripts back home to Dorset.

In 2015 we are supporting Weldmar, Julia’s House and the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Text showing sponsors to be Cummins Accountants