FESTIVE FROLICSThe New Hardy Players continue the tradition of perform a seasonal selection of poetry readings, carols and a mummers play at Hardy’s home. The Mummers play featured in Hardy’s novel, ‘The Return of the Native’. Hardy was fascinated by rural traditions and had Mummers perform at Max Gate one Christmas.
GOING THE ROUNDSThe New Hardy Players, The Ridgeway Singers, and The Madding Crowd lead the mass choir and band from Hardy’s Cottage to Stinsford Church, singing the old carols and reenacting scenes from ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’.
Review by Joanna Davis for Dorset Evening Echo ‘THE more they perform, the bigger and better they get…’ ‘This outdoor production … comes to joyous life’ ‘The large cast bring an atmosphere of warmth, fun and optimism to the complex plot in a production with music and songs, sheep shearing and haymaking, the perfect way to celebrate Hardy’s best loved work in this beautifully told story of loyalty and love directed by Howard Payton.’
2018Review by Marion Cox for the Dorset Evening Echo Review by Fanny Charles for The Fine Times Recorder The New Hardy Players were delighted to collaborate with Dorchester Ballet Club on this production of The Trumpet Major. The four Harlequin dance interludes in the play were devised by Lucy Bishop with Alastair Simpson and Penny Levick, and performed superbly by Rhiannon Bennett, Gloriana Davies, Daisy Essex, Clover Kellet, Isabel Harrold and Amelia Smeaton.
2017Tea with Mr Hardy. Guests included T.E. Lawrence and Siegfried Sassoon. Directed by Andrew Munro
High Tea with Mr Hardy.Guests to include Sir James Barrie and some of our younger NHP members in excerpts of Peter Pan.
Poetry readingDevised and led by Sonia Morris and Sue Worth
Under The Greenwood TreeThese 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. The 2016 adaptation had 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. “There can be few better ways of welcoming the festive season than watching the New Hardy Players perform Thomas Hardy’s warm hearted story of Dorset country people of yesteryear which feature their traditional Christmas celebrations” Marian Cox at the dorset Echo.
A Hardy welcomeStep back in time 90 years for a unique evening of live theatre at Max Gate. We enjoy the company of Mr and Mrs Thomas Hardy, plus their illustrious literary guest, and a few of the colorful characters from Hardy’s novels. While Mrs Hardy entertains in the dining room, the domestic staff gossip and grumble in the kitchen. Thomas struggles with a particularly awkward stanza in his study, and The Hardy Players enact a dramatic scene in the bedroom, complete with costumes, music and dancing.
The Return of the Native
Original music for the production was composed by Alastair Simpson
This work by Thomas Hardy was written in 1916, halfway through the First World War, to raise funds for the Red Cross. It was culled by Hardy from his longer dramatic work, “The Dynasts”. Our performance was the first since those in 1916, and we are grateful to the Dorset County Museum for supplying us with the original playscript.
The WoodlandersA unique and magical production capturing the woodland spirit of Hardy’s most poetic novel Based on an adaptation by Emily Fearn See a couple of short excerpts from the play, performed to celebrate Thomas Hardy’s birthday on 1 June 2013, outside County Hall in Dorchester, on You Tube
The London Hermit or Rambles in DorsetshireWritten by John O’Keefe in 1798 while on holiday in Lulworth, this very amusing Georgian comedy surprised and and delighted an enthusiastic audience.
The play was performed as a dramatised reading by the New Hardy Players and guests in the Victorian Gallery at Dorset County Museum. The reading was inspired by the Georgian Faces exhibition and directed by Tim Laycock.The play was seen again in the place that inspired it and much of it written – West Lulworth. Tim Laycock directed the acted and costumed reading as part of the Cultural Olympiad in May 2012. £517 was raised for the Joseph Weld Hospice.