THE CURTAIN is getting ready to rise for the sixth Dorchester Community Play.

The production of Drummer Hodge, which runs from April 1 for 11 nights, will involved a cast of 100 local people as well as a backstage and musical team.

It has taken almost nine months to put together and the finishing touches are now being applied ahead of showtime.

The play, written by Rupert Creed, is based on a Thomas Hardy poem about a Wessex lad who went to the Boer War and never came home.

Mr Creed, who is also directing the play, said the play will offer a ‘spectacular’ experience for audiences with promenade performances meaning they will have the action going on all round them.

He said: “It is visually exciting with a brilliant set.

“It’s been a real delight to be involved with.

“Hard work at times, but the level of commitment over the months has been brilliant, as is the level of action.”

Mr Creed said those taking part had made the show what it is and fulfilled the aim of it being a real community effort.

Dorchester Town Crier Alistair Chisholm has the honour of playing Hardy himself in the production and says the whole cast are looking forward to the performance nights.

He said: “Everybody that’s in it is really looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be well on par with previous plays.

“It’s been a huge endeavour and it reminds us of how deep and varied the history of the town is.”

The lead role of Will Hodge will be played by 23-year-old Joe Parsons from Winterbourne Abbas, who will be appearing in his third Dorchester Community Play.

Drummer Hodge is being performed at the Thomas Hardye School from April 1 to April 12. Tickets cost £12 for adults with concessions.

They can be bought from the play office in the old library at Colliton Park or online at An exhibition has also been put together at the old library.