More work with the National Trust

Group of people in nineteenth century costume in a woodland setting

The New Hardy Players performed their ‘Woodland Words’ presentation, devised by Tim Laycock, for the second time since the opening of the new visitor centre, close to Hardy’s birthplace, on May 2nd at the request of the National Trust.

Group of people in nineteenth century costume, in a clearing
A new performance area where the Players had an inspiring view looking down on Hardy’s birthplace while performing ‘Woodland Words’ for the third time.

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Sign advertising the Shearing Supper a scene from Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd.

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The New Hardy Players enjoy a May Day Shearing Supper thanks to the release of the new film adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd. Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene are present with songs and readings from the farm hands being all part of the fun, finished off with a dance for visitors and Players alike. The very tasty supper was provided by National Trust staff and volunteers and offered to visitors.

March 5 – Woodland Words

The New Hardy Players present a special programme of words and music as part of the official opening ceremony for the National Trust’s Thorncombe Woods Visitor Centre on Tuesday March 10th. This Visitor Centre serves Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester – more info on the National Trust website.

ww Chris portraitww Emma portraitww Tim playing accordion

The thirty- minute programme is devised and directed by Tim Laycock, and features short acted extracts from The Woodlanders and Far From the Madding Crowd, as well as poetry and prose by Thomas Hardy, and local folksongs and music.

WW groupww Howard readingww Chris Emma

Thorncombe Woods and the heath beyond was Thomas Hardy’s playground as a young boy, and the landscape inspired some of his most memorable prose and poetry. ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ and ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ were both written in Hardy’s Cottage, and the stories of his mother’s early life in Melbury Osmond provided the raw material for The Woodlanders. ‘Woodland Words’ will be performed on the very edge of the wood in amongst the trees. Sadly, this performance will not be open to the public, but there will be an opportunity to see and hear it at Hardy’s Cottage on Saturday May 2nd. Further details once the timings are confirmed.

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