Thursday, 4 September 2014

FIRST LISTEN: Sample the complete 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' cast album on Soundcloud | In stores September 29th

Stage Door Records are pleased to make available a "first listen" of excerpts from all 21 tracks that will feature on the forthcoming 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' cast recording. The CD release is due in stores on September 29th, continuing Stage Door’s London cast album series and commitment to preserve ‘lost’ British theatre scores of the past 50 years.

Evoking the physical passion and romantic landscape of the original Thomas Hardy novel, Stephen Edwards’ musical adaptation of 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' was conceived for the stage with producers Karen Louise Hebden and Bruce Athol MacKinnon over a five-year period. After various work shops, the musical was cast in April 1999 with Philippa Healey and Poppy Tierney alternating the title role alongside Alasdair Harvey as Alec D'Urberville and Jonathan Monks as Angel Clare.

Between September and October 1999, ‘Tess’ toured the United Kingdom, opening at the Sheffield Lyceum to sensational reviews. Critics declared the production "visually stunning" and a "landmark in musical theatre". ‘Tess’ transferred to the West End, opening at London’s Savoy Theatre on November 10th, 1999 and was soon after branded "the last great musical flop of the Millennium”. The London critics were unanimous in their damning of the large-scale through-sung musical and audience numbers subsequently dropped. The show closed on January 15th, 2000 after just 77 performances.

Nearly 15 years since the West End musical adaptation of 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' was last seen on stage, Stage Door are pleased to be presenting the first complete album representation of Stephen Edwards’ score. Featuring tracks from the 1999 West End production alongside the previously unreleased 1998 studio cast recording, the album includes performances by Philippa Healey, Alasdair Harvey, Jonathan Monks, Cathy Sara, Martin Crewes, Mark Umbers, Heather Craney, Eliza Lumley and a supporting company of forty singers. 

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