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Tess of the D’Urbervilles - New Wimbledon Studio

Nick Hayes (as Angel) and Jessica Daley (Tess). Photo credit: Michael Brydon.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

STEPPING Out in association with Partisan and Fallen Angel Theatre is presenting the world premiere of a new musical Tess of the D’Urbervilles, by Alex Loveless from the novel by Thomas Hardy, at New Wimbledon Studio.

Directed by Chris Loveless and starring Nick Hayes as Angel, Martin Neely as Alec and Jessica Daley as Tess, it runs from September 4 (previews from September 2) to September 27, 2014.

Set against the beautiful backdrop of nineteenth century Wessex, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a low-born country girl whose family discover they have connections with the aristocratic D’Urberville family and send her to claim kin.

It’s through Tess’ subsequent relationships with two very different men – Alec D’Urberville and Angel Clare – that Hardy tells the story of his tragic heroine, and exposes the double standards of the world that she inhabits.

Nick Hayes’ many West End musical theatre roles include Ren in Footloose, Ghost, Saturday Night Fever, Legally Blonde and Fame, plus The Wedding Singer on UK tour. He also played Orson Buxton, courier to the modelling agency, in Hollyoaks: In the City on E4.

Martin Neely’s West End musicals include Les Misérables, Scrooge and Taboo. On tour, he appeared in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Whistle Down the Wind. He also played Paris and Lady Montague in the film Shakespeare in Love.

Jessica Daley’s musical theatre credits include Mamma Mia! (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 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of The Wizard of Oz.

The rest of the cast are: Luka Bjelis, Catherine Digges, Marc Geoffrey, Emma Harrold, Sarah Kate Howarth, Guy Hughes, Jessica Millward and 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 (book, music and lyrics) and Chris Loveless (director) have worked on together, including an adaptation of the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day with author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles has musical direction by Chris Ash, who has worked on Showstopper – The Improvised Musical for the last seven years, and choreography by Lucy Cullingford, who has worked on dance and movement for the RSC, including on Matilda.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles is produced by Steve Hennessy, whose quartet of plays about celebrated Broadmoor patients, Lullabies of Broadmoor, enjoyed a 13 week national tour to critical acclaim in 2011.

Check out some preview photos.

Tickets: £15.40 (concessions available). Prices include booking fees. To book, call the box office on 0844 871 7646 or visit

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.