Return to main menu

Toured summer 2005 (itinerary below):

NB Excellent responses across the board. View A5 leaflet?


Adapted from Thomas Hardy’s novel by Philip Goulding

When 21 year-old hay-trusser Michael Henchard gets drunk and sells his wife and her baby for 5 guineas at Weydon-Priors Fair to a sailor, he reaches a turning-point in his life. He vows temperance, tries in vain to find his wife, applies himself to such an extent that he becomes a substantial businessman and Mayor of Casterbridge. But he never manages to escape his inner loneliness and his need to impose his will on others and command their total loyalty.

The rich pageant of characters who create impact on his life include amongst others the too-brilliant Scotsman, Donald Farfrae, and three women – his rediscovered wife, Susan, his mistress and intended wife, Lucetta, and the girl who may be his daughter, Elizabeth-Jane.

Wood-engraving by Peter Reddick from Thomas Hardy, Mayor of Casterbridge, 1968 ã The Folio Society, London

This powerful story confirmed Thomas Hardy as a major novelist. Philip Goulding’s adaptation (originally for a production by Forest Forge and Salisbury Playhouse) was highly-praised:

"This excellent adaptation" (Bournemouth Echo)
"...quite extraordinary clarity" (The Guardian)
"...nicely follows the tragic curve of the fortunes of Michael Henchard" (Financial Times)
"...fine adaptation" (Interval Magazine)
"A gripping saga" (The Independent)

The Wessex Actors Company has earned its reputation for quality Hardy adaptations over the years. "The Mayor of Casterbridge" will be the company’s 6th production by this internationally acclaimed writer. Our last was our second production of Hardy’s own adaptation of "Tess of the D’Urbervilles" in 2001:..........

"The Wessex Actors Company with Michael Barry's sympathetic, uncluttered direction continues to give value... leaving the starring role to Thomas Hardy and his narrative."
"A magnificent week..."
"The Wessex Actors Company totally transfixed the audience from start to finish. The acting was superb."
"..performed by a highly talented group. This powerful production is not to be missed."
"...wonderfully captivating and moving..."
"Thank you for the wonderful performance."
"A compelling night's entertainment."
"Rep isn't dead, it's alive and well and producing mini-masterpieces like this all over the country."

The Wessex Actors Company production of "The Mayor of Casterbridge" toured between late March and early May 2005.

Contact: Michael Barry 01278 733100/ 07906 364189

7.30 unless indicated.

27/4 Preview - The Place, Taunton
29/4 Dumbleton Village Hall (01386 861478)
30/4 Wharf Theatre, Tavistock 8pm (01822 611166)
3/5 Weymouth Pavilion (Ocean Room) (01305 783225)
4/5 Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton (01823 414141)
5/5 Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis (01297 442138)
6/5 Rondo Theatre, Bath 8pm (01225 444003)
10/5 Grange School, Christchurch 1.20 pm (internal perf)
11/5 Bere Regis Village Hall (01929 471342)
14/5 Arc Theatre Trowbridge (01225 766241/ 756376)
18/5 Corn Exchange, Dorchester 8 pm (TIC:01305 267992)
19/5 The Space, Stroud (01453 764395 Riffs Music)
20/5 Quantock Lodge (01278 733100/ 732252) (indoors)
21/5 Puddletown Village Hall (01305 848646)
25/5 Barrington Theatre, Ferndown (01202 894858)
2/6 Digby Hall, Sherborne Festival 01935 815899)
3+4/6 Fyne Court, Taunton (01823 652400; Taunton TIC 01823 336344) (indoors)

The Counting House
Somerset TA5 1LE
01278 733100
web site:

Return to main menu