‘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.
‘Grips constantly and sometimes shakes you… funny and satirically sharp’
‘Brenton’s Judith is a fascinating character, an outsider who — despite the fierce intensity of her aspirations — can see the reality of the host nation… a humorous satire on the Oxford and England we know so well’
— The Arts Desk