Community play drums up lots of praise

Dorset Echo: STARS OF THE SHOW: Drummer Hodge played by Joe Parsons STARS OF THE SHOW: Drummer Hodge played by Joe Parsons

DORCHESTER’S sixth community play has been declared a triumph.

The county town production of Drummer Hodge has received glowing feedback and writer and director Rupert Creed has heaped praise on all those who took part.

The adaptation of a Thomas Hardy poem was staged at the Thomas Hardye School theatre for 12 nights with many evenings attracting sell-out crowds and, after the final curtain was drawn, Mr Creed hailed the production as a resounding success.

He said: “It was fantastic, it probably ranks as for me the most rewarding, exciting and enjoyable theatre experience I have had.

“The cast were just fantastic, they have been fantastic from day one right through to the last show – they have just given so much commitment, energy and passion.

“I think that came out in the performances.”

Mr Creed said that comments on feedback forms included ‘very moving’, ‘very well acted’ and ‘such talent’.

He said he also had people saying to him that they could not believe those involved in the play were not professional actors.

Mr Creed said it was not just the cast of actors that needed to be praised but everyone involved in the whole production from the making of the set, to the music and the costumes.

He said: “It was a big undertaking with five different stages, the amazing band and music and a lot of skill was brought to bear in the performance and the show as a whole.”

Mr Creed said that the show was filmed over four nights and a film would be produced to offer people a lasting memory of the play, with it likely to be out in June.

He said he had thoroughly enjoyed working in Dorchester and would definitely be interested in returning to get involved in another community play.

Mr Creed said: “It’s quite a special place.

“Nowhere has done this number of community plays and has got that level of history and the skill base to do it.

“I would certainly jump at the chance of another one.”

He said that, while around half the hundred strong cast had been involved in previous productions, it was a first community play for the others meaning a whole new wave of people had been introduced to the joys of such a production.

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