A play about a love triangle with the writer Thomas Hardy at the centre will premiere in Dorchester.

The world premiere of A Pure Woman will be at Dorchester Corn Exchange from Thursday September 27 to Sunday September 30.

It was written by Simon Reade and is based on Christopher Nicholson’s novel Winter. A Pure Woman will then go on tour across England and Hardy's Wessex.

Set in the winter of 1924/1925 and based on true events, A Pure Woman tells the story of 84 year-old Thomas Hardy’s affair of the heart with Gertrude Bugler and the jealousy it inspired in his second wife, Florence.

Gertrude was a young Dorset woman, in her 20s, who played Tess of the D’Urbervilles in the local Hardy Players’ production in Dorchester, adapted by Hardy himself.

Florence, in her 40s, had been a muse to Hardy when she was his young secretary while his first wife Emma was still alive. Hardy’s apparent obsession with Gertrude drives Florence into a jealous rage.

Mark Tattersall, artistic director of Dorchester Arts, said: “The moment I read this adaptation I knew we had to bring it to the stage.

"Not only is it a superb play in its own right but the opportunity to launch the tour in the Corn Exchange in the heart of Hardy’s home town of Dorchester where the key scenes in the play actually take place, was just too good to miss. We are delighted that so many other venues around the country have also booked the play – it’s a very moving and thoughtful piece of theatre and you don’t need to be a Hardy devotee to enjoy it.”

Poignant and elegiac, this love triangle touches on issues of ageing, marriage, the lingering influence of a former partner on a relationship and the regrets of women who have sacrificed their own ambitions for those of their husbands. Its fateful, Hardyesque themes will appeal to audiences of all ages.

Tickets are now on sale.

*A Pure Woman, (Dorchester Arts/Poonamallee Productions), Thursday, September 27 to Sunday, September 30, Dorchester Corn Exchange. Call the box office for tickets.