A THEATRE company co-founded by a Malmesbury School student is touring the south west with their acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festival production Tess.
The Ondervinden Theatre Company was co-founded in 2018 by Lucy Morris from Great Somerford, Malmesbury and Elske Waite from Bristol.
In August 2019 ‘Tess’ spent two successful weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it gained high praise from audiences and reviewers alike and the ultimate, a 5-star review from theatre critic Stephen Walker.
Reviews included “the performances are vibrant and expressive” and “the musicians make the scenes of partying in the taverns really come alive”.
Tess is written and directed by Elske.
It’s a bold re-telling of Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Packed with great story-telling, folk music and dance, ‘Ondervinden Theatre’ introduces the feisty and fervent Tess, in a programme suitable for both long-time lovers of Hardy and those suspicious of his often-gloomy subject matter.
Elske said: “We’re all so proud of this play.
“It’s been a real team effort to make it as special as it is, and I can’t wait for people to come and see it.
“This production is performed with generous support from the Thomas Hardy Society for whom we thank.”
Elske and Lucy met at the prestigious Royal Central School for Speech and Drama in London where their shared love of stories and wanting to give a platform to silenced female voices lead to Ondervinden’s formation.
Lucy’s passion for theatre began at school where she was part of every school theatre production.
Whilst studying for her GCSEs, her teachers gave her the opportunity to stage manage the school show rather than be in it.
She directed three sixth form plays, ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ (2013), ‘Othello’ (2014) and ‘Witness at the Sacrifice’ (2015).
Lucy said: “This play is homage to the importance and love of home, and a testament to the real women and true female characters that have shaped the South West’s history.
“It’s a play I would have loved to have seen while growing up here, and one I’m so proud of.
“I’m pleased we have the opportunity to bring Tess to the South West where both Elske and Lucy grew up.”
Tickets for the performance in Great Somerford on Sunday have sold out, but tickets are still available for the show at the Malmesbury Town Hall, Malmesbury on Wednesday from 7.30pm.
Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 for concessions.
For information and to book tickets go to http://ondervinden.com/tess