The side-splitting sight of a parade of red-coated, toffee-nosed huntsmen, prancing across the stage on imaginary steeds is just one of the joyous scenes in this charming production.
The thought of going to see a fictionalised social history of rural life in early-20th century Oxfordshire, interspersed with folk music, might not appeal to everyone.
But Sudbury Dramatic Society director Helen Arbon has assembled a large cast that laces this tale, staged at the Quay Theatre last week, with warmth and humour.
Thecla Tanswell is the naive Laura – a thinly-veiled self-portrait by the author of the original trilogy of books, Flora Thompson.
The story takes her from where Sudbury Dramatic Society's 2005 production of Lark Rise left her to a new position at the post office in the larger village of Candleford.
From the start the audience is drawn into their world: Peter Drew's Derek Nimmo-like Reverend Coulsden chats to those in the stalls as he makes his way up the aisle to the stage.
The lads at the forge, led by David Knight's warm portrayal of old soldier and foreman Matthew, provide plenty of entertainment, with music, jokes and even a bare bum at bathtime.
By Mark Crossley
A fuller review appear in last Thursday's Suffolk Free Press.