Durham’s Gala Theatre is to stage a play that explores the themes of passion, tragedy and class confusion.
Miss Julie, by August Strindberg, is set on Midsummer Night in an old manor house. The play soon plunges the audience into the dangerous waters of seduction and status.
For one night only, the masters and servants are all equal and a party is hosted in the manor house in which they all drink and dance together into the early hours of the morning.
The lord’s daughter Miss Julie ends up straying into the servants’ quarters, where she encounters the head butler John. An incident takes place – driven by their attraction and desire – which will have fatal results.
The play was written in 1888 and originally set in Sweden. The version that will be put on at the Gala, however, has been adapted by the award-winning director Jake Murray so that the action takes place in the north east of England.
Miss Julie has a special resonance for Jake because his father Braham Murray directed a production of the play in 1995.
Jake Murray said, “I was reading Strindberg’s plays when I was a teenager and fell in love with them.”
“Miss Julie is one of the most transformative plays of all time. All working-class drama has a debt to it – even shows like Coronation Street and EastEnders. Miss Julie was the first play to have working-class characters taken seriously.”
The north-east adaptation of Miss Julie is produced by the Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company.
Miss Julie will be staged at Durham City’s Gala Theatre on Saturday 23rd March at 7.30 pm.
Tickets are priced at £15, £13 for concessions. Tickets for Gala Members cost £12 and tickets for Gala Student Theatre Members are priced at £10.