It's not a happy story, and nor is it brief: Singley's adaptation is commendably thorough and sensitive, but it's also on the long side, with frequent scene shifts sometimes handled more gracefully than others. Another occasional difficulty lies in characters' accents, which are sometimes inconsistent, and one or two staging choices are a little jarring, such as a rather lurid red gel accompanying Tess's last fateful encounter with Alec.

But overall, Dead Wessex's Tess is a solid and spirited production, with a radiant Tess and an acute sensibility for the relevance of her fate. The most dangerous attitude that damns her — and damns our current culture wars — might well be Angel's, as with the best intentions he cleaves to his imaginary ideals of a woman, rather than her contingency-riddled human reality.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles | by Thomas Hardy | Adapted by April Singley | Directed by Harlan Baker | Produced by Dead Wessex Fair Productions | at Lucid Stage, in Portland | through September 23 | 207.899.3993

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Lardie, Tess of the d’Urbervilles,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MEGAN GRUMBLING
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IT'S GOOD TO BE WITCH  |  September 19, 2014
    Trapped, suppressed, and unsatisfied with the small-mindedness of their small New England town, what are three divorcées of scandalous creative powers to do?
  •   PREPARE FOR THE FALL  |  September 18, 2014
    The season of theater at USM, Good Theater, Mad Horse, Portland Stage Company, and many more.
  •   TAKING CENTER STAGE  |  September 03, 2014
    “I’ve always loved hidden treasures,” says Michael Levine, founding artistic director of Acorn Productions, as he climbs the stairs to the third-floor ballroom of Mechanics Hall, a gem of a historic space concealed in plain sight right on Congress Street.
  •   BARN FULL OF WONDER  |  August 31, 2014
    Although summer is winding down, there’s still time for this summery, feel-good theatrical throwback to simpler times.
  •   BEREAVE IT OR NOT  |  August 22, 2014
    A dramedy about death, lust, and love by Portland actress and playwright Megan E. Tripaldi.

 See all articles by: MEGAN GRUMBLING