Tess - Manipulate Festival 2024

Scottish Premiere by Ockham's Razor

Wed 7 - Thu 8 Feb, 7PM

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Ockham’s Razor, the UK’s foremost circus theatre company, presents a bold new vision of Hardy’s classic novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Tess uses the original text combined with the physical language of circus, allowing the performers to retell the well-known story of power, loss and endurance through a feminist lens. Hardy’s classic novel still has extraordinary relevance for contemporary audiences as it explores questions of privilege, class, consent, agency, female desire and sisterhood.

Ockham's Razor is an award-winning aerial theatre company at the forefront of the movement re-defining circus. They consistently produce ground-breaking, artistically excellent work. Since their foundation in 2004 they have created, to critical and public acclaim, a distinct style of performance which draws upon the relationships, emotions, and images of circus to create innovative theatre with coherent narratives and moving stories. Tess will be their eighth full length show.

Presented as part of Manipulate Festival 2024, running from 1–11 February at venues across Edinburgh. Find out about other performances at the Traverse here.

Tess is part of the Traverse's £1 Ticket Project.

Image : Kie Cummings

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 and Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.

The Traverse Theatre is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council.


“Beautifully human” - The Times – ‘This Time’ (Edinburgh Fringe 2019)

“Demonstrates that UK circus can compete with the best from around the world.” - The Guardian

“There's something magical about Ockham’s Razor.” - Evening Standard

If you have access requirements, please contact our Sales and Welcome Team on boxoffice@traverse.co.uk or 0131 228 1404 so we can arrange reserved seating for you and discuss how else we can best support your visit.


  • Adapted and Directed byAlex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney - Ockham’s Razor
  • Produced byAlison King – Turtle Key Arts
  • Devised byAlex Harvey, Charlotte Mooney, Macadie Amoroso, Joshua Frazer, Lauren Jamieson, Lila Naruse, Victoria Skillen, Leah Wallings and Nat Whittingham
  • Performed byMacadie Amoroso, Joshua Frazer, Lauren Jamieson, Lila Naruse, Victoria Skillen, Leah Wallings and Nat Whittingham
  • ChoreographyNathan Johnston
  • Composition, Sound Design & ProductionHolly Khan
  • Design and Equipment conceptOckham’s Razor in association with Tina Bicât
  • Set and Costume DesignTina Bicât
  • Lighting DesignAideen Malone
  • Projection DesignDaniel Denton
  • Script AdvisorAnne-Marie Casey

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