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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Set against the beautiful background of nineteenth century Wessex, Thomas Hardy's masterpiece is brought thrillingly to the stage in a new full length musical adaptation, full id drama, colour and passion.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama
  • 120 minutes

  • Time Period: 19th Century, Victorian (British and American)
  • Target Audience: Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18), Adult, Senior
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Opportunity for Spectacle
  • Cautions: Mild Adult Themes

  • Performance Group:
  • Large Stage, Community Theatre, Tours, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Reader's Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, College Theatre / Student, Youth/Camp Programs
Tess of the D'Urbervilles is the story of a farm girl and what happens after she discovers the truth about her family's illustrious heritage. Tess is seduced by the wealthy Alec D'Urberville and bears him a son who dies in infancy. She later marries Angel Clare, a gentleman farmer, but he learns of her past with Alec and abandons her. In order to support her family, Tess agrees to become Alec's mistress. When Angel returns, Tess murder Alec in a fit of passion. The police track Tess and Angel to Stonehenge. As Tess is led to the gallows, she imagines what life could have been had she never had discovered her ancestry...

Tess of the D'Urbervilles is scored in a 'through-composed' style. The score incorporates a range of musical styles, from folk and church music to operetta. Containing timeless themes, including the sacrificial nature of true faith and virtue versus moral absolution, religious dogma and fanaticism; the place of women in society; and an examination of the true nature of nobility; Tess has lost none of its power or relevance since its first publication.


"The Loveless brothers... have brought great sincerity to their storytelling...surging power ballads...very well delivered...a compelling centre to the show..."

 Mark Shenton, The Stage

"...superbly conceived and realised... there is so much to admire in this production... the fusion of the Victorian Novel and Musical Theatre is remarkable."

 Broadway World

"...musically stunning... haunting songs... a beautiful musical."

 British Theatre Guide

"Boasting a charming score... a welcome addition to the roster of new British book musicals."

 Musical Theatre Reviews

"...astonishingly good... stunning... thoroughly enjoyable..."

 Plays to See

"...a dramatic triumph... an absolute joy to watch... If you are looking for depth, fantastic acting, great movement, sublime singing and music then this is the show for you."

 London Theatre 1

"...a wonderful evening of storytelling. This beautiful new musical... has a perfect blend of a new score, great book, talented cast and winning direction."

 A Younger Theatre

" exciting and accessible production... The musical score with its notable numbers will leave you humming... a glorious afternoon."

 UK Theatre Network

"...wonderfully fresh and dynamic... a masterpiece, not only of musical intensity but also of outstanding stagecraft... a beautiful new musical."

 Jonathan Baz

"...sheer enchantment from start to finish... songs that could easily become standards..."


"...the best new musical to hit to Off-West End stage in years... Awarding Tess of the D'Urbervilles five stars seems stingy... I haven't been this bewitched by any musical since I first watched Boublil and Schönberg's Les MisĂ©rables. This is a musical that tugs the heartstrings and won't let go. It's divine work."

 Mellowday London

"...a magnificent performance."

 The Upcoming

"..this fine musical...this is a first rate affair worth seeking out without delay."


"...atmospheric and melodic... a bold and well told story."

 Stage Review

"...thoroughly engaging... this is something incredibly special."

 Ginger Hibiscus

"...a wonderful musical evening."

 The Londonist

"A rich, dramatic, and inventive score... really great new British musical writing."

 Grumpy Gay Critic

Premiere Production: First produced in 2014 at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre by Stepping Out Theatre in Association with Partisan and Fallen Angel Theatre.
  • Casting: 6M, 5F
  • Casting Attributes: Ensemble cast, Flexible casting, Room for Extras, Parts for Senior Actors, Features Teens, Expandable casting, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Casting Notes: The above casting represents the minimum number of players with which the piece can be performed. This relies on ensemble members playing multiple roles. There is much potential to expand this piece for larger cast sizes by allocating these roles separately, with many scenes and songs containing an ensemble element.
  • Chorus Size: Medium