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World Premiere of new musical Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Nick Hayes and Jessica Daley by Michael Brydon
Nick Hayes and Jessica Daley photo by Michael Brydon

World Premiere of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, a new musical from the creative team behind the critically acclaimed musical The Remains of the Day.

Stepping Out in association with Partisan and Fallen Angel Theatre presents the world premiere of a new musical Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Alex Loveless from the novel by Thomas Hardy. Book, Music and Lyrics by Alex Loveless. Director Chris Loveless.

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

Nick Hayes is Angel. He has many West End musical credits including Ren in Footloose, and in the cast of Ghost, Saturday Night Fever, Legally Blonde, Fame and The Wedding Singer on UK tour. He was also Orson Buxton, courier to the modelling agency, in Hollyoaks: In the City on E4.

Martin Neely is Alec. His West End musical roles include playing Grantaire in Les Misérables, and also in the cast of Scrooge and Taboo. On tour in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Whistle Down the Wind. He was Paris and Lady Montague in the film Shakespeare in Love.

Jessica Daley is Tess. Her musical theatre credits include Mamma Mia! in the West End, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Guys and Dolls, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. She was a finalist in the ‘Over the Rainbow’ BBC1 TV search for Dorothy.

The rest of the cast are: Luka Bjelis, Catherine Digges, Marc Geoffrey, Emma Harrold, Sarah Kate Howarth, Guy Hughes, Jessica Millward, Alex Wingfield. A dynamic and exciting cast of actor musicians will be playing more than 20 instruments between them.

This is the fourth large scale musical that brothers Alex Loveless and Chris Loveless have worked on together, including an adaptation of the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day which they worked on with author Kazuo Ishiguro. Musical Director is Chris Ash, who has worked on the phenomenal Showstopper – The Improvised Musical for the last seven years. Choreography will be by Lucy Cullingford who has worked on dance and movement for the RSC, including on Matilda.

The producer is Steve Hennessy whose quartet of plays about celebrated Broadmoor patients ‘Lullabies of Broadmoor’ enjoyed a 13 week national tour to critical acclaim in 2011.

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 (White Bear). Other work includes Lullabies of Broadmoor – A Broadmoor Quartet (Edinburgh, Finborough, & tour), The Remains of the Day (Union), Normal, Othello (Tobacco Factory), Dracula, Moonshadow, The Custom of the Country (White Bear). Chris is Artistic Director of Fallen Angel Theatre Company, and Associate Director of both Stepping Out Theatre and The Ashton Group. He was Associate Director of the White Bear from 2009 – 2013. His productions have received widespread critical acclaim, with several having been named critics’ choice by the Evening Standard or Time Out. 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. Later this/early next year, he will direct Diary of a Madman in New York and Toulouse. www.chrisloveless.com

Alex Loveless – Composer (Book / Lyrics / Music): 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 (Union Theatre, 2010 – Evening Standard’s Critics’ Choice / Time Out’s Best Theatre This Month September 2010), Dracula (White Bear Theatre, 2008) plus a number of works for youth theatre. Alex’s work has been performed at the Park Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Duchess Theatre, Royal Academy of Music and on BBC Radio 4. Alex is the recipient of a Vivian Ellis Prize for most promising newcomer, the Howard Goodall Award for composition, and is a professional writer associate of and reader for Mercury Musicals Development.

Alex is published by Palgrave Macmillan and the London College of Music where he works as a lecturer in musical theatre. His work has been generously supported by Arts Council England and the Big Lottery Fund.

TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES 1999 West End Musical Released on CD

New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
93 The Broadway,
London, SW19 1QG

Tuesday 2nd to – Saturday 27th September
Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday & Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Tickets: £15.40 (concessions available
(prices include booking fees)
Tickets: 0844 871 7646
Twitter: @tessmusical


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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