‘It wasn’t just her freakish ability with language. She saw through to behind the words. It was like she had a direct line to – I was going to say to “the gods”…’
About to be fired from her cleaning job for stealing a volume of Euripides, Jude turns her employer’s outrage to shock by translating the ancient Greek on the spot. The employer, a Classics teacher, knows great talent when she sees it and the encounter kick-starts Jude’s lifelong ambition to study at Oxford University.
Possessing an astonishing gift for languages, Jude will stop at nothing to achieve her dream – but she remains oblivious to the hidden barriers that her background has placed in her path…
Loosely inspired by Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure, Howard Brenton’s play Jude is a modern-day tale of unexpected genius and of our struggle to accommodate extraordinary talent. The play premiered at Hampstead Theatre, London, in 2019, directed by Edward Hall.