Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel, closed Saturday after a round of unenthusiastic reviews and just eight weeks in the West End. Producers announced that the show, which opened at the Savoy Theatre on 10 November 1999 following its premiere in Sheffield in September, would close this coming Saturday, 15 January, but instead the show closed suddenly this past weekend without any prior notice. Tess had been booking to 1 April 2000.
Based on Hardy's 1891 Victorian love story, Tess is set in fictional Wessex where the beautiful Tess Durbeyfield, a peasant descended from an aristocratic family, is harbouring a secret from her gentleman farmer fiance Angel Clare. When the past finally catches up with her, causing a rift between the couple, baddie Alec d'Urberville tries to stake his claim.
Tess stars Philippa Healey and Poppy Tierney, who assume the title role on alternate evenings. They are joined by a cast of 25 including Jonathan Monks as the romantic Angel Clare and Alasdair Harvey as the villainous Alec D'Urberville. The musical is composed by Stephen Edwards with lyrics by Justin Fleming. It is directed by Karen Louise Hebden and co-produced by Sheffield Theatres and Durbeyfield plc.
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