Set in the winter of 1924 – 25, and based on true events, A Pure Woman tells the story of 84 year-old Thomas Hardy’s affair with Gertrude Bugler and the jealousy it inspired in his second wife, Florence.


Poignant and elegiac, this love triangle touches on issues of ageing, marriage, the lingering influence of a former partner on a relationship and the regrets of women who have sacrificed their own ambitions for those of their husbands. Its fateful, Hardy-esque themes will appeal to audiences of all ages.

A Pure Woman from A Pure Woman on Vimeo.


Gertrude was a young Dorset woman, in her 20s, who played Tess of the D’Urbervilles in the local Hardy Players’ production in Dorchester, adapted by Hardy himself. Florence, in her 40s, had been a muse to Hardy when she was his young secretary while his first wife Emma was still alive. Hardy’s apparent obsession with Gertrude drives Florence into a jealous rage.

Presented by Dorchester Arts and Poonamallee Productions 
A new play by Simon Reade, based on Christopher Nicholson’s novel WINTER

Praise for the book:

“Ravishing” Telegraph

“Absolutely first rate” New York Review of Books

“Pitch perfect” Times

Adaptor and director Simon Reade’s previous touring plays include Pride & Prejudice, A Room With A View and Private Peaceful as well as the screenplay for the recently released feature film Journey’s End. Poonamallee Productions has previously toured Michael Morpurgo’s Toro!Toro! and An Elephant in the Garden, which also starred Alison Reid (who plays Florence). This new co-production with Dorchester Arts has been generously supported by the Steel Trust and by The Hardy Society.

£12 advance / £14.50 on the door. 10% off for Theatre Friends

Bar opens 6:30 P.M., starts 7:30 P.M.

Unreserved seating


Online: click on link above

In person:  Lyme Regis and Bridport Tourist Information centres

Over the phone:  01297 442138

Booking Fee may apply