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Ockham's Razor


produced by Turtle Key Arts

Wed 21 Feb 2024

Tess is a groundbreaking adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

An ensemble of performers weave together Hardy’s words and the extreme physicality of circus to tell this tale of power, loss and endurance. Against a backdrop of shifting projections the cast wield wooden planks, climb shifting walls and move through ropes and swathes of linen to evoke the vast landscapes and interior worlds of Hardy’s Wessex. It is a story which still has extraordinary relevance for our times in its incredibly nuanced evocation of female relationships, sexual desire, consent, privilege and poverty. This retelling captures the beauty, heartbreak and yearning of the novel and draws upon the incredible strength of the circus body to create a Tess as heroic as Hardy intended.

Commissioned by London International Mime Festival and The Lowry, Salford with support from artsdepot, Shoreditch Town Hall, National Centre for Circus Arts and Bristol Circus City.

Funded by Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation, PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, Garrick Charitable Trust and Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.


'Physically thrilling'

The Sunday Times

'There’s something magical about Ockham’s Razor'

Evening Standard

'Beautifully human'

The Times

Rehearsal images by Kie Cummings