THE STORY: AFTER MISS JULIE transposes August Strindberg’s 1888 play about sex and class to an English country house on the eve of Labour’s historic landslide in 1945.
“Patrick Marber’s AFTER MISS JULIE is the rare reimagining of a classic play that may actually improve upon the original.” —NY Magazine. “Patrick Marber has given Miss Julie an arresting and very specific English makeover. Marber has uprooted the drama from its Swedish midsummer night setting and relocated it in a country house outside London on the eve of Labour’s historic landslide in July 1945…Repositioning the play on the brink of an era of social reform highlights the drama’s fatalism. Enlightened legislation might ameliorate the conditions found in an Ibsen play such as A Doll’s House, but you’d be hard put to frame laws that could bring to an end the kind of primal biological battles dramatized by Strindberg. AFTER MISS JULIE therefore strikes me as a deeply pessimistic work. It also makes for a terrific evening in the theatre. Like the original, Marber’s ingenious update is at once horrible and hypnotic.” —Independent (UK). “…what Marber captures precisely is the way the heroine’s hysteria is heightened by the night’s tumultuous events. Boyishly reared by an emancipated mother and a suicidal father, [Miss Julie] is the victim of heredity, environment and her own anachronistic position as an outsider in the new socialist England…It is the sense of Miss Julie as a lost soul that is beautifully caught…the real virtue of Marber’s version is that it refreshes an old play and reminds us that it is as much about psychological disintegration as the never-ending sex and class wars.” —Guardian (UK).