Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Good Read Transfers Well to Stage

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Good Read Transfers Well to Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD English Touring Theatre at Northern Stage, Newcastle until Saturday

THOMAS Hardy was one of the few authors I truly adored as a youngster. It is fair to say, though, I have not revisited any of his works in more years than I would care to admit - except for film and TV adaptations.

Here was my first foray into Hardy on the stage and, on the whole, it seems to work well.

It can't be easy to adapt such a well-rounded extensive fable as Far From The Madding Crowd to stage, yet at a production lasting more than two and a half hours long, the ETT give it a good shot, and succeed for the main part.

Each scene is like a new chapter and while, especially in the second act, some plot twists appear a little disjointed and/or abrupt, they are needed to explain the various twists and turns succinctly. Having inherited her father's farm, the headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Rebecca O'Mara) has come to Weatherbury and finds her presence attracts three different suitors; the loyal shepherd Gabriel Oak (Phil Cheadle), the gentleman farmer Mr Boldwood (Stephen Billington) and the dashing but reckless Sergeant Troy (Adam Croasdell). …

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