Return of the Native – see an Excerpt

Some of the New Hardy Players performed a scene from the forthcoming production of The Return of the Native to mark Thomas Hardy’s birthday on 6 June. The performance took place outside County Hall in Dorchester, though the audience were told to imagine they were on Egdon Heath.

You can see a video of this excerpt here.

Feb 28 – Publicity shots on the heath

A brilliant sunny day on “Egdon Heath” on Saturday saw some of the furzecutters and heathfolk, from our forthcoming Production of “Return of the Native”, sharpening their tools as well as their acting skills!

This is the first of several photo shoots that we will be undertaking to promote the Play.

Four people in nineteenth century rural costume sitting on a bank

Furzecutters were: Evelyn Grey – played by Jill Withey, Charley – Tom Archer, and Rosy – Molly.

Heathfolk were Timothy Fairway played by Chris Pullen, Tabitha Cricket – Devina Symes and Marcia Hinton – Hilary Charlesworth.

A group of people, most in nineteenth century rural costume but some in twenty first century garb

Also shown are two of our brilliant costume team – Lou Pugh and Gerry Gwyther who will also be playing Furzecutters, plus Alison Payton – Assistant Director.

Two women in nineteenth century costume standing on a dirt track talking, with other people in the background
Photographs taken by Howard Payton – Director of the Production

Feb 15 – Return of The Native – first full rehearsal

The first full rehearsal of Hardy’s “The Return of The Native” took place on Sunday 15th of February at the Brownsword Hall In Poundbury.

It was great to see nearly 30 enthusiastic Hardy Players tackling and blocking two complicated ensemble scenes: Scene One and Scene Five. Blocking is the working out of who stands and moves where in each part of the play: one of those things a watcher takes for granted (if we get it right!) but which can take a long time to perfect and for the actors to remember.

Scene 1  is set on Egdon Heath and involves the Heathfolk and all the Furzecutters interacting around a bonfire on November 5th.

Scene 5 sees the Mummers give full voice and energy to the entertaining set piece which the company watch at a Christmas party.

Alastair Simpson ran a singing workshop too, to introduce the cast to a couple of the lively songs that will feature in the production.
Looking forward to building on this on Sunday March 8th when we will be rehearsing at The United Church in Dorchester.

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