Stepping Out Theatre in Association with Partisan and
Fallen Angel Theatre Company
A new musical adaptation by Alex Loveless
Directed by Chris Loveless
New Wimbledon Studio
New Wimbledon Studio
Tue 2 Sat 27 Sep
Tue Sat 7.30pm, Thu & Sat 2.30pm
Tickets £15.40 (concessions available)
Prices include booking fees
Box Office 0844 871 7646 www.atgtickets.com/wimbledon
MARK SHENTON for THE STAGE
This new British musical
features a strong
trio of leading performances
The Loveless brothers Alex (who has written the book,
music and lyrics) and Chris (who directs) have brought great sincerity to their
Alex Loveless surging power ballads
[are] very well
delivered by the company of actor-musicians
The three leads provide a compelling
centre to the show
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
Based on the Thomas Hardy novel of the same name, Tess of the DUrbervilles tells of the story of a girl who becomes tainted for life due to the actions of one unrepentant man. Full of moral arguments, the book is a weighty read with an overall melancholic tone.
The story, however, is captivating and many of the issues it raises regarding attitudes to sex, gender and religion are still pertinent today. This is perhaps why it makes for such an emotive musical.
With a talented ensemble of actor musicians and a potent mixture of folk, opera and traditional musical theatre techniques, the music rises and falls, perfectly blending Tess and Angels love story with the much darker set pieces.
Jessica Daley creates a stubborn, troubled, proud and extremely likeable Tess. Her rendition of "I saw your face" is heartfelt and moving, contrasting well with the waltz of distrust that is "Forbidden Fruit" with Martin Neely as the cold Alec DUrberville.
The pastoral scenes are represented through ensemble songs, such as "Children of the Earth", that cleverly change tone as the piece develops. The wide-eyed innocence of the opening song is soon replaced by "The Belly of the Beast", although the comical "Will You Marry Me" is light relief, performed with good comic timing.
There is great depth to this production with lyrics that are poetic and yet not overly melodramatic. The small cast interact brilliantly and, although the stage is full, excellent direction from Chris Loveless ensures that it is never crowded. Movement is interwoven and, although there are few dance routines as such, the cast are constantly on the move reflecting Tesss swirling emotions.
this is a musically stunning production with haunting songs and strong direction. I do hope that there is a great future life for this musical which deserves a bigger stage and to be seen by a wider audience.
Congratulations to Alex Loveless (book, music and lyrics) for encapsulating such a classic book in a beautiful musical.
LONDON THEATRE 1 *****
I was concerned that a classic literary masterpiece by Hardy would have its dramatic meaning with the introduction of music diluted along with the potency and empathy of this piece. However I need not have been concerned, this in itself is a dramatic triumph. The whole cast support and complement each other bringing their individual talents to create the perfect ensemble.
The beautiful voices and instrument playing by the cast, which did remind me of the musical Once, along with the simple but extremely clever staging and lighting, gave you the depth of the piece I was looking for.
Tess (Jessica Daley) and Alecs (Martin Neely) wonderful duet Forbidden Fruit with its dramatic red lighting and matador-like theme was an absolute delight showing the darkness of what was to come. Angel (Nick Hayes) perfectly cast, as was everyone, was both enchanting and captivating. His duet with Tess I Deal in Deals was vocally stunning by both.
The song Will You Marry Me performed by Izz (Sarah Kate Howarth), Marian (Jessica Millward) and Retty (Emma Harold) was perfect in its simplicity and showed their clear vocal talents in all their glory. During the confessions song (The Folly of my Youth) which gave me goose-bumps, was so well sung and acted you felt their pain and disappointment.
The second act brought more delights in the form of pulsating rhythmic drums, rustic charms and English folk music themes. You witness Tess developing into adulthood and by doing the right thing by her parents to claim her kin actually orchestrate her ultimate devastating demise. When she makes the decision to punish Alec to avenge her loss of innocence, the use of such creative yet simple lighting along with her outstanding acting is a wonder to watch.
show was an absolute joy to watch and more than worthy of a place on a larger stage or at
the very least playing to larger audiences and dare I say it should be seen on a
A YOUNGER THEATRE
Created by Alex Loveless (also known for Bel-Ami and Remains of the Day), the show is a strong creation led by a strong cast and both contribute to a wonderful evening of storytelling.
The original story is such a fraught, dramatic one that I was worried that Hardys story might be diluted, but I neednt have. The score is a mixture of styles, with many songs enhancing the dramatic narrative and relationships perfectly. Accompanied by a chorus of very talented actor-musicians, the songs range in styles from slight folk numbers, mixed with elements of tango, slightly rocky chords and the essential torch numbers.
Highlights of the evening included Alec (Martin Neely) and Tess (Jessica Daley) duet Forbidden Fruit which sees the two negotiate their relationship, as well as Will You Marry Me a comedic plea from the young farm hands to Angel (Nick Hayes). Whilst all of the evening was beautifully sung, the strongest relationships vocally were those of Daley and Hayes their acting too, performing the wonderful lyrics perfectly.
supporting cast, including many
A clever set design by David Shields, and the foreshadowing lighting design by Phil Spencer Hunter combine to pull the evening along nicely, as well as Chris Loveless direction of a small but incredibly talented company. This beautiful new musical deserves a home on a bigger stage: it has a perfect blend of a new score, great book, talented cast and winning direction.
Wisely, the production is almost entirely sung-through - the rural idyll of Children of the Earth; the selfishness of Alec's Forbidden Fruit, tempting Tess with strawberries and the promise of a better life; and the milkmaids' clever and funny plea to Angel, Will You Marry Me - are superbly conceived and realised.
sings beautifully and
captures the hideous dilemmas the mores of the time forces upon her. Nick Hayes
looked angelic as Angel and carried off his remorse on his return from
there is so much to admire in this production the fusion of the Victorian Novel and Musical Theatre is remarkable. It may not quite be Les Mis, but it's not so very far away, and that's thrilling enough for me!
MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW
it is great to have original musicals by talented young writers such as Alex Loveless and independent companies like Stepping Out Theatre Company (in association with Partisan and Fallen Angel Theatre)
The stylised yet minimalistic designs are by David Shields, the handsome period costumes are by Penn OGara, while Chris Loveless who has previously staged musicals by Alex Bel Ami at the Charing Cross Theatre and Remains of the Day at the Union provides the clever direction (this is the fourth large scale musical that the brothers Loveless have worked on together). The cast here is no less than superb, especially the two leads.
Jessica Daley, fresh from her
Martin Neely makes a believable villain as Alec DUrberville, while the rest of the cast sometimes playing several parts and doubling as musicians (a device which is at times over-used but which works wonders here) stresses the intimacy and sense of community among the villagers.
Boasting a charming score a welcome addition to the roster of new British book musicals.
Having studied Tess of the DUrbevilles some years ago, I was intrigued by the idea of the adaptation of the Hardy novel to a musical version. Delightedly, I am pleased to say that it worked on every level.
an exciting and accessible production which can be enjoyed by those who know the novel and those who are new to it. The pace of the scenes does not lose momentum, ensuring the audience are involved throughout.
set, minimalistic in design, with black and white scenery, evokes not only the openness of
the countryside but also the bleakness of
The play opens with a lively prologue sung superbly by drunk John Durbeyfield, played by Marc Geoffrey, who captures the essence of this poor peddler. At once the scene switches to the May dance on the village green. This is a delightful interlude where the ensemble plays the roles of the villagers and sings with gusto. Performing to Children of the Earth, the small studio is transformed and the mood set for an enjoyable matinee.
The energy and enthusiasm of the ensemble is infectious. Between them they play 20 instruments and their musical talent is undeniable. Having been captivated by them in their opening number, I could not wait for their further scenes. Each was delightful, performed with energy and relish. All are to be congratulated but I cannot leave this without a special mention to Emma Harrold who shone in her performance. In her role of Retty, we see her and farm girls Izz and Marian lusting for Angel, and their performance of Will You Marry Me is a delight.
I would also celebrate Daley for her depiction of the young, innocent Tess who is unaware of the cruelty of the world and is unprepared for its treatment of her, who accepts the inevitable and deals with all that fate has thrown at her; Neely in his portrayal of the cruel and lascivious Alec, and Hayes who is convincing as a good man but whose flawed character harms our heroine as much as the cruelty of Alec.
The haunting strains of the duet between Tess and Alec, The Folly of My Youth, take us through the interval and prepare us to journey with her to her destiny. Catherine Digges and Marc Geoffrey are to be congratulated for their convincing performances in their many roles, not least of which are Parson Clare and Mrs Angel, and their cold indifference to those whom they consider socially unworthy through the song A Truly Christian Woman.
There is no denying the
musicality of the performers. Duets are emotional, solos are exquisite and ensemble pieces
are enthusiastic and lively. The musical score with its notable numbers will leave you
humming in the interval and at the close when you leave the
JONATHAN BAZ ****
Alex Loveless' Tess of
the DUrbervilles is a wonderfully fresh and dynamic re-telling of a classic English
story that brims with rustic reminiscence, charm and ominous drama. In this exciting piece
of writing, musicianship shines as instrumental and vocal talents are seamlessly woven
into 18th century
Tess is a young woman used and abused by Alec and over-idealised by Angel, all leading to tragic consequences. Where Hardy's novels frequently have a backdrop of foreboding barren moors, the introduction of musical theatre gives the author's whirlpool of emotions an excitement that only enhances the story.
Jessica Daley draws us in as Tess. Down to earth, honest and truly likeable, we wish for her life to work out, even though we know she is doomed. Alec is deliciously villainously played by Martin Neely. Cold, calculating and remorseless, as he duets with Tess in Forbidden Fruit the audience shivers with disgust. In complete contrast, Nick Hayes' Angel is the handsome and charismatic Angel. The love between his character and Tess is completely believable with their ravishing duet I Deal In Ideals, proving a premonition of the devastation to come. Daleys voice is full of colour and dynamic as she changes from youthfully wide-eyed innocent, to a desperately wounded and bereft young woman. The show's tragic ending is a masterpiece, not only of musical intensity but also of outstanding stagecraft from both the company and Chris Loveless' top-notch team of creatives.
Alex Loveless has excelled at lush harmonies that are thrillingly and passionately sung by the whole company, a particular highlight being the opening number Children of the Earth. David Shield's simple yet effective set design is well complemented by lighting from Phil Spencer Hunter, both men working to create a clever evocation of time and place.
Tess of the DUrbervilles is a beautiful new musical that re-tells a substantial novel with an energising score. It deserves a longer run, a bigger budget and a wider audience. Go see this show
PLAYS TO SEE ****
the prospect of musical theatre and Thomas Hardy seemed an odd one to me. A Victorian novel and show tunes? However surprisingly, though, Alex Lovelesss adaptation worked. the dramatic, theatrical tone of Hardys story was captured by the equally dramatic musical numbers, with the cleverly pared down staging beautifully capturing the rural society Hardy depicted.
The first thing I noticed about this production was the level of thought and precision that had gone into every detail of the piece. It began with the musical ensemble standing on stage playing a short prologue on the flute, violin and oboe. It was split into three parts: the first minor, the second major, the third minor once more. Again, without revealing too much, the arrangement largely mirrored the arc of the plot itself: a wonderfully constructed introduction. The stage itself was beautifully presented, white shards of backdrop (almost like splinters of glass) filled the stage, painted with a bleak, black landscape of bare trees and rocks. Once more, the staging seemed symbolic, reflecting the tone of the story itself whilst also being visually striking.
Musically, too, the play was astonishingly good. the overall impression was stunning, the voices of the ensemble and the leads filling the tiny studio theatre. It dominated the space, and was as melodramatic as the plot, the violins lilting sadly at the climax, and the ukeleles accompanying the more carefree, joyful moments. the finale was genuinely moving, and the raw emotions of the characters involved were portrayed with some skill.
The ensemble, (who narrated the piece, like the chorus of a Greek tragedy), were undoubtedly sublime, versatile and quirky, their light-hearted presence complementing the rural feel of the piece as a whole: it could almost have been performed in a village barn! Nick Hayes was the perfect Angel, patronisingly well meaning and yet impossible to truly dislike
it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Chris
and Alex Loveless have brought a perceptive, sensitive version of Tess back to
this new musical by Alex Loveless book, lyrics and music is sheer enchantment from start to finish
Loveless is particularly good at
reproducing the kind of country music that would be around at that time and Lucy
Cullingfords accompanying rural style choreography fits the music extremely well.
The music is really good, some of the songs and harmonies are excellent and there are some
songs that could easily become standards especially those sung by Jessica Daley in
the eponymous role.
Thomas Hardys melodramatic tale of Tess of the DUrbervilles is brought life by Stepping Out in Association with Partisan and Fallen Angel Theatre. Written by Alex Loveless, this is the best new musical to hit the Off-West End stage in years
Awarding Tess of the DUrbervilles five stars seems stingy Alex Loveless (Book, Music and Lyrics) has successfully captured the essence of Hardys melodramatic nineteenth-century novel and coloured it with a musical score that saturates the soul with emotion.
The melodies and
powerful lyrics are blended with operatic folk music a completely unexpected,
unusual mix but the result hits you right from the start. The measure of this
productions success is that you do remember and hum the songs in your head long
after youve seen the show. I havent been this bewitched by any musical since I
first watched Boublil and Schönbergs Les Misérables (based on Victor
Hugos novel). Set in rural
Thanks to the flawless direction from Chris Loveless, the entire cast nailed it right on the first night. Casting Director Benjamin Newsome has chosen the most talented troupe of fresh faces for this intoxicating new musical. Jessica Daley stars as Tess Durbeyfield and gives an award-winning performance as the emotionally scarred, tragic heroine who finds herself in the position of being torn between two men a situation that ultimately destroys her. Jessicas voice has the ability to reduce those possessed with the steeliest of dispositions to tears, in particular in songs such as I Saw Your Face, which for me is the equivalent of the Les Misérables tearjerker On My Own, but her duet I Hear Your Voice with Martin Neely (Alec DUrberville) is the most heavenly, spiritually uplifting song of the evening. I need the CD now!
Martin Neely is perfectly cast in the role of wealthy, silver-tongued Alec DUrberville. Neelys interpretation of the snake-like, silver-tongued opportunist presents him flitting from high romance to evil demon in the first Act. Neely possesses the ability to make you believe in his charm, but his character quickly changes to curdle your blood in the first Act. Nick Hayes in the role of Angel Clare, the rival lover, will have you on the edge of your seat as he plays out his desire for Tess only to reject her once he discovers her past. Hayes perfectly captures Angels inner torment and pain at his own rejection of Tess, bringing out his obstinacy and deeply entrenched psychological flaws which he cant shake off in order to accept her.
The musical direction and sound design is also terrific Christopher Ash (Musical Director & Sound Designer) hasnt just made use of the entire stage but has the ensemble in the background throughout. They play instruments including the accordion, and the overall arrangements helps to create a sensational folk sound.
David Shields has
created a very clever set with higgledy-piggledy farmhouse buildings on which are painted
rustic settings. This looks particularly creepy in the final scene at
Everything about this
work has its own unique magic and I am certain that with more development
go the same way as Les Misérables. It also has the potential to be staged as
a concert based on enough powerful melodies and strong lyrical narrative. Whatever happens
to this gorgeous musical we will certainly see it again hopefully in the
THE UPCOMING ****
Daley, Neely and Nick Hayes are the stars of Tess of the DUrbervilles, and along with the eight other brilliantly talented actors and musicians, make this show a success. Overall, a magnificent performance.
Anyone seeking a reason
to visit Wimbledon now there is no tennis on offer need seek no further than this fine
musical Alex Loveless has created
Loveless has come up with some enchanting ballads
and several rousing chorus numbers for the
Doeful-eyed Daley, as a young girl trapped in the moral and social conventions of the era, plays her part beautifully with just the right balance of servility and fortitude.
Flaxen-haired Nick Hayes makes a dashing romantic hero as the priggish Angel
Catherine Digges and Marc Geoffrey play six characters between them including three sets of parents and all are a treat.
The music is atmospheric and melodic The Loveless brothers have come up with a bold and well told story that should please Hardy fans.
GINGER HIBISCUS ****
This musical adaptation of Thomas Hardys classic English novel, breathes life into Tess of the dUrbervilles, a text that (before reading it) many dump in the, thats an old book, its probably really boring and full of tricky lingo, pile. This production proves that on stage, its nothing of the sort. Brothers Alex (Composer) and Chris Loveless (Director) do a phenomenal job of telling us Tess story, moving between events (so many events) at a fiesty trot, fast enough to be thoroughly engaging without losing us somewhere along the way.
Tess, played excellently by Jessica Daley, hesitates at the proposal because she knows shes not what Angel, or any man, expects in a bride. As Hardy, author of Tess of the dUrbervilles, said, Tess is a pure woman whos a victim of her circumstances. And that comes through in every single syllable from Daley. As Tess, Daley is earthy and wholesome, earnest and ultimately, believable. She becomes a heroine that the audience can truly, unequivocally empathise with, and unusually for a musical, I felt that if I were her, I would have made very similar decisions.
For every heroine we need a villain, and in Tess of the dUrbervilles we get two for the price of one. The cruel Alec is the epitome of, a villain, with zero redeeming features. Played by the outstanding Martin Neely, hes imperious and patronising, fully conscious of his behaviour as he declares Tess the Forbidden Fruit in a brilliantly sinister duet. As Angel, Hayes pitches his performance perfectly, confident and strong, with a thrilling on-stage chemistry with Daley exposed in their series of duets.
The show reaches its climax with a phenomenal ensemble performance. Clearly practiced to perfection, its a special moment that triggers a whole cascade of emotions, tumbling over one another like rocks in an avalanche, gaining momentum. The multi-talented ensemble join the avalanche, adding to its potency not just with their singing, but through their musicianship, playing a veritable orchestra of instruments live on stage. This relatively unusual element is such a treat, giving the whole show a thoroughly rustic feel, with the folk-infused score and foot-stomping country dance.
I feel like this is something incredibly special. A heavyweight novel married to a heavyweight score, producing a show thats potently powerful.
Martin Neely as the condescendingly predatory Alec DUrberville is particularly good, seducing Tess with a strawberry and his creepy baritone in Forbidden Fruits. Nick Hayes as Angel, true to his name, lights up the stage with energy oozing from every fibre and is the perfect handsome foil to the sinister Alec. Three excellent milkmaids make up the infectiously fun west country ensemble, always on stage as a sort of acting orchestra. Swapping their flutes for banter, dancing and spirited songs, they pick up the pace in between doleful duets.
When it comes to Tess the former finalist in BBC1s search for a Dorothy is certainly the strongest in an already fantastic cast.
This Tess is a wonderful musical evening.
GRUMPY GAY CRITIC
A rich, dramatic, and inventive score Alex Loveless is not afraid to experiment a little, giving Tess of the dUrbervilles a unique and inventive sound that marks it out from other new musicals. Here, Alex Loveless really embraces not just a modern musical style, but also the sounds, harmonies, and rhythms of English folk and pastoral music. Behind these he also puts behind a lot of thought and emotion, resulting in such stirring numbers like Children of the Earth and Joyfully, We Praise, to soaring and rich numbers like I Hear Your Voice.
Lyrically he does bring his own sense of wit and creativity to the libretto that really complements and augments the emotions hes encapsulating in his music. There are more than a few unique and attention grabbing songs that demonstrate that Alex Loveless reputation is by no means one garnered from false praise.
The production behind the show is also of a high standard and is as impressive as the new musical writing on offer here. David Shields stage design does a good job of portraying several of the abstract themes. His dilapidated arches, with peeling wood panelling and painted with drab pastoral scenes, very handsomely represents the ideas of a waning aristocracy and nature being unforgiving and harsh, not to mention easily conjuring up Stonehenge: where the novels climax takes place.
Director Chris Loveless also makes great use of the space, particularly in capitalising on the nooks and crannies among Shields flats, meaning that actors end up being framed dramatically, appear, disappear, or be hidden with ease. Working closely with Movement Director, Lucy Cullingford, there are also bits of choreography and physical theatre that really add energy and slick showmanship to parts of the show. Cast
Kudos to Casting Director Benjamin Newsome for finding a cast that can also play a plethora of instruments on stage without sacrificing acting ability. Its really great to find such multi-talented performers, and make full use of their many skills. Particularly, Emma Harrold, Sarah Kate Howarth, and Jessica Millward are a trio of ladies who not only interact and bounce high-spirits and impish energy off each other, they work just as close-knit and refined an ensemble on violin, flute, and viola respectively.
However, Jess Daley in the titular role really steals the show. Shes astonishing at being the heartbroken heroine, balancing out devastating misery with a wonderful sense of romantic hope and feminine tenacity. You really feel the inner pain and turmoil that is written clear across her face its easy to get lost in her beautifully tragic portrayal of Tess.
some really great new British musical writing the score is rich, vibrant, and original
AUDIENCE FEEDBACK FROM PREVEWS
I thought the show was excellent. The music was multi-layered and haunting ...
I loved the performances, especially Angel Clare
who I felt was very sympathetic. And all of the ensemble were fantastic musicians ...
Everything was very slickly choreographed and executed (both in terms of dance & movement around the stage, and in terms of the retrieval of instruments and their use within the show). The music was melodic and enjoyable with a good mix of rustic numbers, love songs, atmospheric numbers and a bit of humour thrown in as well! Highly recommended! *****
... my congratulations to everyone involved. I reckon I was at a World Premiere of what deserves to be a very successful show.
Completely engrossing, so true to the original story. Wonderfully executed. Wonderful singers and musicians.
Wonderful production. Very well acted and the music superb. Great adaptation of the book. Excellent. So much talent.
An excellent production of a very good show. It was performed well on all counts: singing, acting, dancing, musically and production values. The story was told clearly and faithful to Hardy's original. The three leads were excellent and Tess was particularly sympathetically portrayed. The ensemble acting, singing and instrument playing cast, were also very talented and added greatly to the atmosphere of the piece. *****
This is a charming production. A talented young cast tell the moving story of Tess of the DUrbervilles. Lovely voices and very good musical ability. I'm usually not a big fan of musicals but I loved this one. The theatre is small and intimate and I felt very involved. This play deserves to be seen and I do hope people book this one. You won't be disappointed. *****
Stunning performance. We both really enjoyed it. *****
Wonderful show. Fantastic musical telling of this classic tale .Beautiful music accompanied by very talented musicians. The acting and singing was first class. I really hope that this show does really well - it certainly deserves it and I feel privileged to have seen its premiere. A wonderful and memorable night of musical theatre. *****
The cast were all very talented as actors/actresses and also as musicians. More than half of the cast were musicians as well covering a range of instruments, and were also supported by a small group of off stage musicians. Difficult to single out any specific performances but Jessica Daley was excellent with an exceptionally strong voice. A very enjoyable evening and a faithful reproduction of the story. ****
An enjoyable production, acted, sung and choreographed well An enjoyable evening out. ****
Very touching production. The music was beautiful and the actor-muso ensemble was a very pleasant surprise. Clearly a very musical cast - the voices and harmonies were flawless. The small space was used very well. ****
Original piece of work demonstrating wonderful music and good choreography. The production was so professionally executed, it captures your full attention and I was sorry when it ended. The quality of the cast and their musicality impressed so much, a really memorable night. ****
Walking into the studio you are immediately struck by the impressive set, and intrigued by the props and instruments dotted around the stage... Of note are the actors playing the main roles of Tess, Alec and Angel, who have a great stage presence, and portray their characters with intense emotion and wonderful vocals. The rest of the ensemble work well establishing a range of supporting characters along the way (my favourite scenes were with the Clare family!)... I applaud the cast and all the creative team, and enjoyed the show very much.
It is always a pleasure to watch and listen to a new piece. I thought the music helped along by some fabulous vocal performances from the cast stirred emotions. It conjured images of the time and was perfectly written to tell the story. The staging was clever with the use of instruments beautifully played by the ensemble... Well done to all involved and keep up the good work.
This was fantastic. Great use of staging, really good casting. Quality of production and delivery was excellent. I hope many more people go to see it. I would certainly recommend it.
Luka Bjelis Felix Clare, Jonathan, & Ensemble.
graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded the Andrew Lloyd Webber
Theatre whilst in training: Theodore "Laurie" Lawrence III in Little Women, Russell Paxton in Lady in the Dark, and Justin Lazenby in Role Play. Luka is delighted to be making his professional acting debut in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Not only does it allow him to finally put his many musical talents to good use as an actor-musician, but he gets to do it alongside some of his closest friends from the RAM family.
In his spare time, Luka enjoys song writing, learning new musical instruments, drinking Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
Jessica Daley Tess Durbeyfield
Jess trained at the Arts Educational
She most recently made her West End debut playing the
role of Ali in the
Catherine has recently completed a season at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden in Jonathan Kents new production of Manon Lescaut.
Theatre credits include Mamma Mia!, playing Tanya on numerous occasions;
understudied and played Kate in Kiss Me Kate
(Victoria Palace); Les Misérables, covering the
role of Madame Thenardier (national tour); Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych); Daphne in Darling of the Day (Union); Nancy in Oliver! (Theatre Clwyd);
Catherine is currently working on her own one woman show, and performs in various concerts and cabarets.
|Marc trained at the
Theatre includes: Richard III, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory); Orion, 100 Miles North of Timbuktu, Items of Value (Theatre West); Glengarry Glen Ross, King John (Theatre Royal Bath); Edward Bond's Lear, The Romans in Britain (Crucible); Scoop (Lyric Hammersmith/Pins and Needles); Delivered (Tobacco Factory); Spiders (Soho Theatre); The Precariat (Finborough); Pay As You Go (Cock Tavern); Election Drama (Supporting Wall); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Theatre Royal Basingstoke); Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The Threepenny Opera, The American Clock, The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Project Night (Bristol Old Vic). TV and film: Eastenders, Frankie (BBC); Callum (Van der Put); Mariah Mundi and The Midas Box (Entertainment Motion Pictures); The Quiet American (Miramax).
Marc will also be appearing in the upcoming ITV/Carnival Films drama
series The Lost Honour. Directing Credits: Fixing It, My
Big Fat TV Bitch, Banksy: The Room in the Elephant, Wound, Okay,
A Bed Among the Lentils, Harriet (Stepping Out); Orion (Theatre West); The Wing (Theatre Uncut/
Marc is an associate director and trustee of Stepping Out.
Emma Harrold Retty, Lisa Lu, & Ensemble
|Emma trained at the Marguerita Hoare School of Dance and
the Royal Academy of Music. Credits include: Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days (UK Tour); Luisa in The Fantasticks (
whilst training: Belle in Little Me,
Donna/Angel in City of
Nick Hayes Angel Clare
include: Legally Blonde (
include: Pete Tork in Monkee Business! (Dominion); James in Beyond
Most recently Nick completed his second contract as Tony Manero
in Saturday Night Fever aboard the
Sarah Kate Howarth Izz & Ensemble
Sarah Kate has just graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. Credits whilst in training include: Adele in A Man of No Importance, Liza Elliott in Lady in the Dark, and Jane in Twilight of the Gods.
Previously, she read French and English Literature at
As a hardened fan of period drama, Sarah Kate is thrilled to have been cast in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and hopes to play many more high-spirited young girls before she is old and decrepit. Sarah Kate would like to thank both the cast and the production team for making this such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Guy Hughes Parson Tringham, Bailiff, Landlord, & Ensemble
|Guy recently graduated from the Royal Academy of
Musics Musical Theatre course. Whilst studying there, he secured a number of leading
roles, including Alfie Byrne in the final show A Man of No Importance, and Randy
Curtis in Lady in the Dark. He also scooped the Tony V. Fell prize for Speech
into Song, and received a commendation in the HL Hammond prize for poetry reading.
Since graduating, he has recorded with BBC Radio 4 as a solo folk singer for their upcoming series Voices of the Old Bailey, and has recently finished a run of San Domino at the Arcola as part of Grimeborn festival. Guy also works as a composer and arranger, writing for both theatre and screen www.guyhughes.com
Jessica Millward Marian, Landlady, & Ensemble
|Jessica is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Musics
Musical Theatre course, and is thrilled to be making her professional debut in Tess of the DUrbervilles, especially
alongside so many of her friends from RAM.
Prior to this, Jessica studied at Royal Holloway,
Martin Neely Alec DUrberville
Theatre Credits include: John & Jen (Guildford Fringe); Merrily We Roll Along (Theatre Clwyd); Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Hired Man (Landor); Les Misérables (Queens Theatre London); Les Misérables 25th Celebration Concert (O2 Arena); Mary Poppins (UK tour); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour); The Merry Widow (South Africa tour); Scrooge (Palladium); Living Together, Sweet Revenge, Dangerous Corner, Gaslight, Of?ce Party (UK Repertory Season); Starlight Express (Apollo Victoria); Taboo (The Venue); Whistle Down The Wind (UK Tour); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Gaiety Theatre, I.O.M.).
Film and TV credits: Stardust (MARV Films Ltd); Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Film Corp); Touch and Go (BBC2).
Along with several others in this cast, Alex has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, Musical Theatre course.
He is delighted to return to the New Wimbledon Studio stage for his second performance here, having played Lucifer in Arthur Millers only musical Up From Paradise just weeks ago. He has loved rehearsing for Tess of the DUrbervilles (particularly getting to play his oboe) and hopes you enjoy this beautiful story!
Christopher Ash Musical Director & Sound Design
Christopher Ash is a composer, musical director, sound designer, and workshop leader. He is a founder member and assistant musical director of The Showstoppers' Improvised Musical (BBC Radio 4, West End, Ed. Fringe).
MD: Butcher (Birmingham REP); Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel (Full House Theatre); George M. Cohan (Charing Cross Theatre); Newley: The Singer and His Songs (Pleasance); Newsrevue (Canal Café Theatre).
Composer: Three Witch3s, The Night Queen (Belgrade Theatre & Hoopla); The Roast Post Ghost Coast Song (HMDT & Spitalfields Festival); The Mandrake Root (European Drama Network); The Borrowers, The Little Mermaid (MAC).
Chris' electronic soundscape compositions are released with Ravensbury Recordings. Sound Design: Kissing Sid James (New Red Lion, Jermyn Street, 59e59); Terror Season (Southwark Playhouse); Mother Courage, Joseph K, A Dybbuk, Nana (Crescent Theatre Birmingham).
Workshop Leader: ISTA, Future Band (Barbican); Unfinished Dream (LIFT); An Invite from the Queen (HMDT); Drama Studio London; Anglia Ruskin University; Colchester Institute.
Chris was on the young composer's scheme with Hackney Music Development Trust and was the recipient of the Claude & Margaret Pike Bursary to study film music composition at Dartington Festival.
Michael Brydon Production
Maria Clarke Associate Movement Director
Maria is a movement director, etiquette advisor, and choreographer in theatre and film. A former professional dancer and actress, Maria has a decade of experience as a movement director.
In 2014 she has worked on productions of: Dr Faustus (Cambridge Arts Theatre); The Nine 0 Clock Slot, Choreographer (Red Gallery); Thrill Me, Period Movement Advisor (Edinburgh Cvenues 34); The Circus, Choreographer (Assembly Edinburgh); Macbeth (Bridge House Theatre); The Great Fire, Etiquette Advisor and Assistant Choreographer (ITV); Introduction to Regency Etiquette, Director (Educational Online Video); Far From the Madding Crowd, Etiquette Advisor (DNA Films/Fox Searchlight).
Other movement direction credits include: Pride & Prejudice (UK Tour); A Christmas Carol (Bridge House Theatre); Renaissance Body, Assistant Movement Director (Royal Shakespeare Company and Patrons, Swan Theatre); The Last Supper, Fulmar Television (BBC); and for the Gielgud, Riverside Studios, Finborough, and Southwark Playhouse.
She is also a specialist period etiquette advisor, running
projects and workshops in museums, notably the
Lucy Cullingford Movement Director
|Recent productions include: Matilda the Musical, Dance Repetiteur (RSC/Cambridge Theatre); Intimate Apparel (Ustinov/Park Theatre); The Spanish Golden Age (Ustinov/Arcola); The Scottsboro Boys, A Season in the Congo (Parallel, Young Vic); Rusalka (revival) (The Royal Danish Opera); Nothing is the End of the World, Bed and Sofa, Beating Heart Cadaver (Finborough); 20 Tiny Plays about Sheffield, Lives in Art (SPT, Crucible Studio); Constellations (Duke of York/Royal Court); The Double, The Phoenix of Madrid (Ustinov); The Revengers Tragedy (Hoxton Hall); Yerma (Hull Truck/Gate); The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse); Othello (Rose); Quartet (Old Vic Tunnels); Happy Days (Crucible Studio); The Winters Tale (Camley National Park); Gotcha (Riverside Studios); Movement Assistant The Grain Store and The Drunks (RSC Courtyard Theatre); A Tender Thing (RSC/Northern Stage); The Winters Tale, A Midsummer Nights Dream, RSC Youth Ensemble (Courtyard Theatre); The Great British Country Fete (Bush); Not For All The Tea In China (Chol Theatre, Glastonbury Festival); A Dolls House, A Christmas Carol (Bridge House Theatre Warwick); Stoopud Fucken Animals (Traverse); A Small Family Business (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Bouncers, A Christmas Cracker, Big Trouble in the Little Bedroom, Pigs, Thick as a Brick (Hull Truck).|
Katie Crooks Voice Coach
Katie studied Music at
Having returned to GSA to study on the unique PoVaS course (Practice of Voice and Singing), she now teaches both voice and singing for a number of drama schools, individuals, and professional theatre companies. Katie also coaches voice and presentation in the corporate world and continues working as a performer and musical director.
Phil Spencer Hunter Lighting Design
Alex Loveless Book, Music, & Lyrics
Alex trained in musical composition at the London College of Music and is the composer/lyricist/librettist of Bel-Ami (Watermans Theatre/Charing Cross Theatre 2014), The Remains of the Day (Evening Standards Critics Choice/Time Outs Best Theatre This Month September 2010) (Union), Dracula (White Bear 2008), plus a number of works for youth theatre.
Alexs work has been performed at
the Park Theatre,
His work has been generously supported by Arts Council England and the Big Lottery Fund. www.alexloveless.com
Chris Loveless Director
|Chris trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Recent work includes Bel-Ami (Charing Cross Theatre); Diary of a Madman
(national tour); Peregrine (tour); Dominic (tour); Five Kinds of
Silence (Stepping Out); Dust to Dust (Theatre West).
Other work includes Lullabies of Broadmoor - A Broadmoor Quartet (Edinburgh, Finborough, & tour); The Remains of the Day (Evening Standard Critics Choice) (Union); Normal, Othello (Tobacco Factory); Dracula, Moonshadow (Time Out Critics Choice), The Custom of the Country (Time Out Critics Choice) (White Bear); The 24 Hour Plays (Ustinov).
Chris is Artistic Director of Fallen Angel, and an associate director of Stepping Out and The Ashton Group. He was Associate Director of the White Bear from 2009 - 2013. He has on three occasions been awarded Arts Council individual funding for his work, and in 2010 was nominated for the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Director for Stairway to Heaven. Later this/early next year, he will direct Diary of a Madman in New York and Toulouse. www.chrisloveless.com
Penn OGara Costume
David Shields Stage Design
work includes: Song & Dance and Carmen Jones (European tours, directed by Anthony
Van Laast); Oh! What a Night (Blackpool Opera
House, directed by Kim Gavin); A Christmas Carol
(Nottingham Theatre Royal); Dick Whittington
(Bristol Hippodrome); Lonely Hearts (Old Fire
Station); Chess 10th and 20th anniversary
productions (UK tour and Oslo Spektrum); Dido and
Aeneas (Guildford); The Sunny Side Of The Street
(Jermyn Street); Money to Burn, Cigarettes and Chocolates, Bash, One
Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Rent, Bare, Steel
Pier, The Lamp Lighters, Sleeping Arrangements (London). Scandinavian
Arena productions of: Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Fame,
More recently Miracle on 34th St (UK premiere tour); The Snow Gorilla (Rose); The Beautiful Game (London); the UK touring production of Robin Cousins Ice; Sister Act (Aberystwyth); Ant and Decs Takeaway On Tour.
Stepping Out Theatre
Ann Stiddard Graphic Design
|With thanks to Clean Break, David Henson and London College of Music, Brian Loveless & New Wimbledon Theatre.|
THE PRESS ON PREVIOUS ALEX LOVELESS MUSICALS
The Remains of
At last someone writes a
tune you can remember the following morning...