Publishers Weekly
December 14, 1998. p.26

Thomas Hardy's famous novel does not come to mind when one considers source material for children's video. But this stage adaptation, performed by the British theater troupe SNAP People's Theatre Trust and videotaped in London, makes Hardy's work accessible for sophisticated young viewers and their families. No watered-down version of the book, the production retains the flavor, themes and essential elements of Hardy's writing. As an introduction, professor Elizabeth McNamer and 12-year old Preston Blakely [sic] discuss Hardy's life and career and the key themes of the novel while visiting the author's childhood home. On stage, the tale of Victorian Era farm woman Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors crackles with life. The deft performers tackle at least two roles each, and they pepper their scenes with occasional singing and bits of clever, explanatory narration. The drama simmers as Bathsheba marries the wrong man and eventually learns difficult lessons in love; teenagers will be especially captivated by this aspect. The fast-paced, overlapping dialogue in the early scenes requires a bit of patience, but this title is worth the effort. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)