Featuring 'The Second Mrs Clare' by Michael Langridge - sequel to 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'

Hardy at Sturminster Newton Literary Festival 2023

Featuring The Second Mrs Clare by Michael Langridge - sequel to Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Sturminster Newton Literary Festival focuses on celebrating three writers associated with the town (Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, and Robert Young), current Dorset and Wessex writers, and aspiring writers of the future. The festival has a range of talks, workshops, guided walks, and collaborative events with local businesses to promote writing from the region.


'Beyond Tess'

Friday 9th June - 2.00pm-3.30pm

The Exchange, Sturminster Newton

Michael Langridge, in conversation with Dr Tracy Hayes of The Thomas Hardy Society, talks about The Second Mrs Clare, his sequel to Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. This is an illustrated talk on the exciting journey that led to the creation of an important sequel to Tess of the d’Urbervilles. With the aid of theatrical and geographical imagery, the talk will reveal the fascinating processes involved in crafting The Second Mrs Clare.

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Mike Langridge is a writer, actor, and director. He lives in West London with his wife, film editor Caroline Bleakley. They are joint artistic directors of TightGrip Productions Ltd. Mike was born in Sussex, but his family moved to London when he was three. At the age of fourteen, his English teacher inspired him to read the great Victorian novels, amongst which were those of Thomas Hardy. This started his lifelong love of the writer’s works. As an actor he has appeared in over one hundred and twenty plays. His director credits include both parts of David Edgar’s Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, Noises Off, Mrs Warren’s Profession, The Crucible, The Last of the Haussmans, and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In addition, Mike and Caroline’s critically acclaimed adaptation of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ received its world premiere at The Questors Theatre in Ealing in 2018. With the late Michael Green, a lifelong friend, and the author of The Art of Coarse Acting, Mike has collaborated on some of the highly successful Coarse Acting plays.

Tracy Hayes received her PhD from The Open University in 2017 with a thesis investigating masculinity in the novels of Thomas Hardy. She is an English Language and Literature tutor for both Jurassic Coast Tutors and The Brilliant Club. She is also the Secretary and Website/Social Media Director for the Thomas Hardy Society and regularly organizes conferences and study days. Having presented papers on Hardy, M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe at numerous conferences throughout the UK, Dr Hayes has also published in various journals including the DNHAS Proceedings, Palgrave Communications, RRR, Merry Meet, the Victorian Popular Fiction Association journal and Short Fiction Studies. She has contributed chapters to collections on Hardy, Relationships, the Brontës, Poe and the Gothic. Her current research centres around representations of Gothic masculinity and the antiquarian Gothic.

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Tickets can be booked through the SturLitFest website: https://sturlitfest.com/


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