I AM not usually a big fan of amateur dramatics, well at least I thought I wasn't, but there is nothing amateur about the latest production from the Redlynch Players - Thrush Green.

Without sounding too gushing, star performances from the cast kept me spellbound for the entire tale. There was no counting the minutes until the interval, in fact quite the opposite - I couldn't wait for the second half to start, despite the conviviality of the happy throng at the mock pub, The Two Pheasants and the old-fashioned sweet shop selling Smarties and pink mice from large glass jars by the pound for pence.

The phenomenally successful Miss Read’s Thrush Green has been adapted by Ron Perry for the stage at the stunning Manor Farm Meadow in Hamptworth.

A huge marquee, complete with carpet and Gypsy wagon, stands in the buttercup field, a setting so perfect for the Miss Read’s adaptation which brings to life a Cotswold village on May Day 1960 and follows the fortunes of the village folk.

The characters in Perry's skilfully adapted stage production are full of life and wit - none of the wry social comedy is lacking, the dialogue is laced with humour and social commentary, not only marking but celebrating our differences. Thrush Green is human, and funny, bittersweet and warm.

There are several stand-out performances, most notably from Anna McBride, who plays Dotty, Ali Silver who plays Ella Bembridge and Mark Everett who plays Albert Piggott. But every member of the cast truly deserves a mention and is worthy of so much more than an "amateur" tag.

Within days, tickets had sold-out for this Redlynch Players production, not only marking their phenomenal popularity, but also marking the group's 60th anniversary.

I hope they perform for another 60 years and I will be lucky enough to watch them for at least 40 of those.

For more information go to redlynchplayers.co.uk.