Independent Theatre has done it again with Far from the Madding Crowd. In these changing times, there are many things we can no longer rely on, so be comforted in the knowledge that we can rely on this theatre company. Independent Theatre offers a great night out, providing enriching theatre, a well-researched and developed story and a cast of dedicated performers who bring home the goods.
Set in the mid–nineteenth century, originally a book by Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd became a motion picture in 1967, starring Alan Bates as Gabriel Oak and Julie Christie as the vivacious and willful Bathsheba Everdine who inherits a large estate and three suitors that complicate her life’s decisions and direction.
This story of epic proportions is given true justice in the accomplished hands of Director Rob Croser. It is brought to life by the cleverly designed and augmented set design, costumes and attention to detail from the representation of a slower pace in the outback to the bustling interactions of the crowd scenes, with full credit to the discipline of the cast who take the audience with them through every step of this elaborate journey. The highly effective use of rotating cloud formations and hues on the rear screen serve to highlight the mood and enhance the beauty of the ever-changing terrain.
With subject matter as relevant today as it was more than a hundred and fifty years ago, the story explores the impact of hard times, betrayal, hopes, dreams and promises. This is truly a cast that collectively shines and all cast members deserve a standing ovation. Special mention must go to Shedrick Yarpin, Fahad Farooque, Charles Mayer and Alicia Zorkovic who respectively played the characters of Gabriel Oak, Sergeant Frank Troy, William Boldwood and Bathsheba Everdine with all the vitality, suspense and craftsmanship of a classic ballroom dance.
Independent Theatre’s premiere of Far from the Madding Crowd, adapted for the stage by Mark Healy, is on at the Odeon Theatre, Norwood from July 31 – August 3.
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