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Tess - Ockham's Razor Tess - Ockham's Razor

Wed 14 February - Sat 17 February

Tess - Ockham's Razor

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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.

“There’s something magical about Ockham’s Razor” – Evening Standard

“Physically thrilling” – The Sunday Times

“Beautifully human” – The Times

Adapted and Directed by Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney – Ockham’s Razor Produced by Alison King – Turtle Key Arts Choreography Nathan Johnston Composition, Sound Design and Production Holly Khan Design & Equipment Concept Ockham’s Razor in association with Tina Bicât Set and Costume Design Tina Bicât Lighting Design Aideen Malone Projection Design Daniel Denton Script Advisor Anne-Marie Casey

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.

Partner company of The Lowry find out more information on Ockham’s Razor page on our website.



Free workshops

The piece is touring to UK theatres and is accompanied by free workshops which feed in to the GCSE / A-Level syllabus. 

Download the workshop pack

To book a workshop or for further information please do get in contact with:



“a dreamlike production that does not blunt the novel’s tragedy”

The Guardian

“Physical theatre and acrobatics bring Thomas Hardy’s famous tragedy to scintillating life”

The Stage

“visually hypnotic and teems with physical creativity”

London Pub Theatres

“effortlessly fluid”

British Theatre Guide