THE only surviving member of Thomas Hardy's acting group is set to tread the boards once again - at the age of 101.

Norrie Woodhall, the last remaining member of the original Hardy Players, will read poetry by the great writer himself in a show called Dorset Voices.

She will appear alongside members of the New Hardy Players in the programme, which features an afternoon of words and music from Dorset's past and present.

The event will feature the poetry and prose of Thomas Hardy and William Barnes and work from some of Dorset's modern-day writers, including Hugh Simpson, Sue Worth and Devina Symes.

It will also feature music from New Hardy Players musicians Jenny Trotman and John Foxwell.

Norrie met Thomas Hardy in 1924, while the original Hardy Players were staging Tess at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester.

He cast her as Liza Lu, and even added extra lines to give her a more substantial role in the play.

The New Hardy Players were formed in 2005 to mark Norrie's 100th birthday and further promote the work of Thomas Hardy.

She appeared on stage with them last September - despite losing sight in one eye - in their production of Under the Greenwood Tree.

Kind-hearted Norrie, who lives in Owermoigne, gave her 100th birthday gifts - donations amounting to £612.12 - to the Joseph Weld and Trimar Hospice and CancerCare Dorset.

And in November last year she launched her autobiography Norrie's Tale, which captured her memories of Dorchester and Thomas Hardy, at the Dorset County Museum.

Dorset Voices is being staged at the United Church in South Street, Dorchester, on Sunday, March 11, at 3pm.

Tickets are £4 and include light refreshments. They are available from the Tourist Information Centre in Antelope Walk or on the door.