Newbury Dramatic Society
The Newbury Dramatic Society web site is at www.newburydramaticsociety.org.uk (needs Flash).
Tess of The D’Urbervilles, 3rd to 6th April 2013
By Thomas Hardy. Loved and betrayed by two men, Tess’s sad story is played out against the seasonal rhythms of rural Wessex.
The Watermill, Newbury.
01635 46044. www.watermill.org.uk. Tickets can also be reserved online or by contacting 01635 33572
Review of Tess of The d’Urbervilles
3rd to 6th April 2013.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Strong cast for Hardy tragedy
Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a bleak tale well told by Newbury Dramatic Society
Newbury Dramatic Society: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, April 3 to Saturday, April 6
By all accounts, Thomas Hardy felt strongly about his character Tess and described her as 'a pure woman, faithfully presented'. Published in 1891, it first appeared in censored form in an illustrated newspaper - censored because it challenged the standards of behaviour at the time and the terrible double standards that are sometimes still reflected in attitudes found even in the present day, over 100 years later.
Tess is seen as a poor but right thinking young woman of her time, keen to better herself but anxious to preserve decent standards of behaviour and to help support herself and her family. She is treated with contempt by Alec d'Urberville, who she hopes to persuade is her relation by reason of her name, Durbyfield, a corruption of d'Urberville.
Tess is raped by Alec as she sleeps, and gives birth to a sickly son who soon dies. Later, working on a dairy farm, she meets and falls in love with Angel Clare, a handsome young man who confesses an earlier affair with an older woman before marrying Tess, seeks and receives her forgiveness but when she relates how she was made pregnant by the unscrupulous Alec, he cannot bring himself to forgive her. There is more heartache and pain for Tess as Angel effectively abandons her.
The play, a bleak tragedy based on Hardy's long novel, is difficult to stage effectively. Newbury Dramatic Society succeeded because they had a strong and believable Tess in Jess Spath, who effectively conveyed the pain, sorrow, thwarted love and vulnerability of Hardy's central character. Her movements across stage, dialogue and facial expressions all conveyed empathy with and understanding of the tragic Tess.
A strong cast, including Keith Phillips as her father, Sarah Enticknap her mother and Luke Niemiec as Angel Clare, all played their parts with vigour and understanding. Phil Campbell was particularly good in the unsympathetic role of villain Alec.
Other notable performances were given by Dave Slade, Mike Brook, Jo Snowdon and indeed by everyone in the 21 strong cast. Accents were authentic sounding, costumes just right and everything fell into place due to skilled direction by Ann Davidson.
It is a bleak tale well told, with lessons for us all to this day, in spite of all recent 'progress'.
NDS is the oldest established amateur theatre group in the Newbury area. Current membership is around 45, and we stage a variety of shows each year in local venues, and also enter regional drama festivals. Between rehearsals we have an active social calendar - events planned include bowling, a car treasure hunt and group outings to other theatres.
Entertaining Angels, 8th to 10th November 2012 at ACE Space
The Taming of the Shrew, 2011 at New Greenham Arts
The Dog It Was That Died, 2011 at the Watermill
Curtain Up, 2010 at New Greenham Arts
Confusions, 2010 at the Watermill
Outside Edge, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
Ladies' Day, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
The Recruiting Officer, 2008 at the Watermill
Ladies Who Lunch, 2008 at New Greenham Arts
Far From the Madding Crowd, 2007 at the Watermill
A Fishy Business, 2007, Festivals
Abigail's Party, 2006 at the Watermill
What's for Pudding, 2006, Festivals
Racing Demon, 2005 at the Watermill
Babysitting Calvin and A Radio Reminiscence, 2005 at Waterside, Newbury
Whose Life is it Anyway?, 2004 at the Watermill
2004 Review, 2004, on tour
An Ideal Husband, 2003 at the Watermill
Arms and the Man, 2003 at New Greenham Arts
Taking Steps, 2002 at the Watermill
Sganarelle and People ARE Odd! A joint revue and radio play with Kingsclere Players, 2002 at the Mencap Centre
Sganarelle, 2002, Festivals
The Crucible, 2001, Thatcham and The Watermill
World Première, 2001, Festivals
Love Begins At Fifty, 2000 at New Greenham Arts
Is It Something I Said?, 2000, Festivals
It Could be Any One of Us, 2000 at the Watermill
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1999 at Kintbury
Habeas Corpus, 1998, at the Watermill
Parentcraft, 1997, Wallingford Festival
Move Over Mrs Markham, 1997 at the Watermill
Caught On The Hop, (Festival Winner) 1996, Wallingford Festival
Flying Feathers, 1996 at the Watermill
. See the review in the archive.
If you are interested in joining us in any capacity - whether as an actor, director, stage manager, backstage helper or programme seller - get in touch for details! Contact Ann Davidson at .