Thursday, 9 January 2014

Miss Julie @ The Citizens

I tend not to know about such things -  I'm no TV, all theatre - but Dominic Hill's direction of Zinnie Harris' version of Miss Julie has got one of the stars of BBC's Sherlock in it. I do know that Harris relocates Strindberg's classic tale to 1920s Scotland, right in the middle of a strike against Miss Julie's capitalist father, and that it doesn't end well: the social and sexual tension between Julie and her dad's man-servant leads to fantastic dreams that end in a nightmare.

Press release begins:

Star of the BBC’s Sherlock Louise Brealey makes her debut on the Citizens Theatre stage .Prior to appearing in the Gorbals in the title role, Louise Brealey will be part of the nation’s festive viewing schedule when she stars as Molly in the eagerly-awaited third series of the BBC’s hit TV show Sherlock on New Year’s Day. Brealey has also played long-standing character Nurse Roxy Bird in the BBC’s Casualty and has appeared at the Bush Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, the Young Vic and Bristol Old Vic.

Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Dominic Hill directs Zinnie Harris’ 2005 adaptation of August Strindberg’s thrilling tale of an upstairs-downstairs liaison, relocated to 1920s Scotland when the economic toll of the First World War was being felt, and the working classes were striking against falling wages and the privileges of the upper classes. 

Joining Brealy on stage will be Scottish actor Keith Fleming, who recently won praise as Macbeth in a new co-production by Horsecross Arts and Tron Theatre Company, and who starred in Dominic Hill’s award-winning Peer Gynt in 2007. Completing the cast is Citizens Theatre Actor Intern Jessica Hardwick, who appeared on the Citizens’ stage as Sonya in Hill’s 2013 production of Crime and Punishment.

Set in the oppressive heat of summer, Miss Julie follows the dangerous flirtatious games played by Julie and her father’s butler, John. As the night wears on, the couple from opposite ends of the social spectrum tease and fight towards an explosive conclusion. 

Harris’ version of the European classic, first created for National Theatre of Scotland, looks at the politics of the play through a new prism, setting the power-games played by Julie and John against a backdrop of wider social unrest. Harris has written extensively for theatre and television including the acclaimed The Wheel, Further than the Furthest Thing, Midwinter, Fall and the BBC’s Spooks.

Director Dominic Hill said: “This is a play about sexual politics: the battle of the sexes, sexual desire and the way men and women negotiate and manipulate to get what they want. For me, this is what makes the play truly timeless. I’m pleased that we’ll be presenting this landmark text on the Citizens’ main stage for the first time.”

Strindberg’s play defined a new naturalism in theatre when it was first premiered in 1888, with its shocking realism leading to it being censored. Since then, the universal nature of the themes contained in the play has lent the gripping story to a variety of settings, from the sectarianism of 19th-century Northern Ireland to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  A major film version directed by Liv Ullmann and starring Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton is scheduled for a 2014 release.

Citizens Theatre presents
MISS JULIEA new version by Zinnie Harris
Directed by Dominic Hill
Designed by Neil Haynes
Lighting Design by Stuart Jenkins

Cast: Louise Brealey, Keith Fleming, Jessica Hardwick 
(Citizens Theatre Actor Intern)
Dates: Thu 6 – Sat 15 Feb, 7.30pm (no performances Sundays & Mondays)
Post show discussion
 and Q&A with Director Dominic Hill
Tue 11 Feb

Schools Workshop Miss Julie: Inside the Rehearsal Room
Wed 12 Feb, 5.00pm – 6.30pm (followed by show at 7.30pm)
A practical insight into the making of this production led by the Assistant Director. Supports writing about ‘a play seen in production’ for Higher and Advanced Higher Drama pupils.
To book contact Louise Brown 0141 418 6273 /

Miss Julie: An Afternoon with Strindberg
Sat 15 Feb, 12.15pm (followed by show at 2.30pm)
Tickets £10 + ticket to the show. Price includes buffet lunch and refreshments. Tickets to the show sold separately.
Director Dominic Hill in discussion with playwright Zinnie Harris and academic of Scandinavian literature Peter Graves. 

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