FAR From the Madding Crowd represents a bold and enterprising choice for any am dram group but Redlynch Players are never ones to shy away from a challenge.

Certainly, transferring Thomas Hardy’s pastoral tale of wilful Bathsheba Everdene and the three men who love her to the confines of a small village hall stage is ambitious.

Matthew White’s adaptation is written in a series of staccato scenes, taking in harvest suppers, church altar jiltings and sea shore suicides.

But director Ron Perry and his cast are a resourceful lot and painted the story in broad brush strokes on their small canvas with innovative touches.

Stage projections kept us abreast of time and place and Alison Silver’s well-chosen folk songs covered the swift scene changes.

Sarah Newman’s Bathsheba was a spirited heroine who captured her impulsive streak and despair at Troy’s rejection with total conviction.

Luke Futcher cut a dash as the raffish Troy and Mark Everett was sombre and dour as Farmer Boldwood.

The packed house was engrossed throughout and the sold out notices for the play’s run are a testament to the Players’ popularity.

Lesley Bates