Subtitled “A Pure Woman” by Hardy, Tess is a challenge to humanity’s indifferent tendency to destroy what is natural, beautiful or unusual.
Countless essay questions have been set as to who is responsible for what befalls Tess – Alec d’Urberville who takes advantage of her innocence and seduces her without consent, Angel Clare who wins her love and trust only to betray and reject her, her parents who call upon her to betray herself for them, or even Tess herself, who accepts terrible behaviour from others and possesses little instinct for self-care.
The thing about Tess, though, is that the central part of her story is incredibly, jaw-droppingly romantic and – at points – rather funny too. But it’s not a tale for the faint-hearted…
Our original adaptation of this beautiful, devastating story toured to Essex, Hertfordshire and London in Spring 2009 and ran in London in rep with Crime & Punishment in Spring 2010.