Far From the Madding Crowd
"And at home by the fire, whenever you look up, there
I shall be - and whenever I look up, there will be you."
Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy
Adapted for the stage by Connie Stephens
Directed by James Baker
Willful, spirited Bathsheba Everdene owns a farm: unusual for a young woman in Victorian England. Even more remarkable is her intention to manage the estate herself. Enter Gabriel Oak, rejected suitor of our heroine, who proves to be a Godsend in rural matters. The fact that he continues to adore her from afar does no harm either. Oak’s presence on the farm gives Bathsheba the occasional hour off to perform rudimentary tasks, such as sending joke Valentines to lonely neighbours. One such is Farmer Boldwood, a man who has kept so tight a lid on his feelings for two decades that he responds to the February 14th missive with quite devastating passion, leaving the stunned Miss Everdene to think that she might just have to marry him out of sheer guilt.
While she’s teetering between conscience and ‘till death do us part’, Sergeant Frank Troy appears with his handsome looks, tight jacket and smooth ways, diverting her attention to the all-consuming joy of being wooed by a man who knows how to use his sword. Could he be "the One"? Or could too much glitter be a foil for an empty soul?.
So the stage is set for Thomas Hardy’s most searing exploration into what love really is, the heights and depths to which it drives us, and the guises which passion-without-substance will assume to deceive and ensnare the guileless.
Romantic, funny and devastating all at once, Far From the Madding Crowd is Hardy’s eulogy to Dorset during the industrial revolution, his attempt to preserve the traditions of the county with as much reality and as little sentiment as possible, and part of his personal quest to understand why human beings are sometimes so hopelessly cruel to one other.
We performed our original stage adaptation in London, Essex and Oxfordshire and then filmed the whole show in two days near Cambridge. Watch it in full here!
Lighting Design: Ben Cowen
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Far From the Madding Crowd last night - a very appealing choice of classic, a wonderfully clever adaptation, an excellent and inspired production, brilliant and versatile performances from every single member of the cast. Congratulations to all involved."
Linda Cearns, London
"Myriad are a group that specialises in adaptations of the classics. That expertise certainly came across in this production."
Loitering in the Theatre Blog