Far From The Madding Crowd - Review

NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)

Review by Ann Platten
A lady kisses a soldier in the woods.
Far From The Madding Crowd

Directed by Maree Noons and Linda Potter
Performed at The Studio, 16th April 2016

A very ambitious choice with this group for their 100th Production with Thomas Hardy's classic story adapted by Jessica Swale last year.
Really well set in the studio on a very minimal set, but with extremely effective lighting, and full marks to the cast and crew for so many speedy set changes in both acts.

I found two of the main characters Bathsheba Everdene played so well by Gemma Quinn, and Gabriel Oak played in such a well suited role by Lewis Rodger excellent. Really believable characters sparking off one another with great timing. Well done in such wordy roles with no prompts.

So many other characters in a large cast to comment on each and every one by name, but one or two comments however on some other very good performances. Richard Kemp-Luck as the so correct Mr Boldwood portrayed this character well, I also liked Richard as a local lad in his smock with his thoughts of all the folk he had known.
Sergeant Troy played by Gregory Potter was dashing in his swashbuckling style,and very handy also with his sword,good timing from Greg throughout and thought had gone into Sergeant Troy's complex role from him.
The ladies all did so well, from Mary Anne,Fanny,Mrs Hurst and so the list goes on with support from all on stage.
Strong characters also from the gentlemen with Joseph,Chris,Steve and also through to the minor characters all very well played.

I must compliment the company on props and costumes obviously all taken trouble to get right.
I do like to see real liquid being poured into cups and tumblers etc, but with so many scene changes it was probably not practical in this production?

I liked the programme layout but is was not easy to read and to follow the scenes when in the studio with dim lighting. A good read however when we got home.
The music chosen and played linking the scenes and the sound effects was spot on. Such a good link to have music as a background when moving scenery and set changes and well chosen music and easy listening for the audience.

Well done with all your efforts with this production which was very enjoyable and such a treat to have such a classic to watch.
I look forward to your future productions with no doubt some interesting dramas from the group.