“After Miss Julie “
After Miss Julie is a play which relocates August Strindberg’s naturalist tragedy, Miss Julie (1888), to an English country house in July 1945. The re-imagining of the events of Strindberg’s original are transposed to the night of the British Labour Party’s “landslide” election victory.
Plot and Characters
There are only three characters in After Miss Julie; Miss Julie, a rich lady in her 20s, and two servants: John, a valet/chauffer, aged 30, and Christine, a cook aged 35. The action takes place in the kitchen of a large country house outside London, when the British Labour Party have just won their famous ‘landslide’ election victory.
Opening & Closing Dates
Type & Version
Oct 22, 2009 – Dec 6, 2009
Play / Original
American Airlines Theatre, NY, USA
Nov , 2003 – Feb 7, 2004
Play / Original
Donmar, London, UK
Opening Night Cast
Marin Ireland…. Christine
Johnny Lee Miller…. John
Broadway Debut…. Miss Julie
Paul O’Brien…. Additional Voice
Sandra Shipley ….. Additional Voice
Daniel Stewart …. Additional Voice
After Miss Julie, written and directed by Patrick Marber, was screened by BBC Two on 4 November 1995 as part of the Performance season. Miss Julie was played by Geraldine Somerville, John was played by Phil Daniels and Christine was played by Kathy Burke.
The Stage Premiere was at the Donmar Warehouse in London on 20 November 2003; its run ended on 7 February 2004. The three characters were played by Kelly Reilly (Miss Julie), Richard Coyle (John) and Helen Baxendale (Christine). The production was directed by Michael Grandage. It received generally very positive reviews, Kelly Reilly particularly praised for her performance. The Telegraph said it was “an unforgettable night of white-hot theatrical intensity” and The Guardian gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
The Regional Premiere was at the Theatre By The Lake in Keswick on Friday, 28 July 2006. Its run ended on1 November 2006. The characters were played by Juliette Goodman (Miss Julie), Guy Parry (John) and Polly Lister (Christine). It was directed by Simon H West. The production was praised for its impact, acting and sexual charge.
Salisbury Playhouse is producing a new production of After Miss Julie from 1–24 October 2009, directed by Tom Daley.
Most recently, the Roundabout Theatre Company produced a version of “After Miss Julie”. The production had its Broadway Premiere on 22 October 2009 at the American Airlines Theatre to respectable reviews. Critic-O-Meter has given the show a C+ based on 4 A level reviews, 8 B level reviews, 4 C level reviews, and 5 D level reviews. The production stars Sienna Miller (Miss Julie), Jonny Lee Miller (John) and Marin Ireland (Christine) and is directed by Mark Brokaw. The New York Times gave a generally passable review, saying Sienna Miller ‘conveys anger, self-abasement, sorrow and fear very clearly and, on occasion, convincingly. But the segues among these feelings are never natural, let alone inevitable, so that when events take a turn for the lurid, the audience is laughing when it should be recoiling.’ However, he said we should ‘continue to give Ms. Miller points for courage, for appearing in this Roundabout Theater Company production’ and playing ‘the highborn, low-stooping Miss Julie’ who ‘is a challenge for even the most seasoned actress’.
Newday’s Linda Winer called Sienna Miller “awfully actressy at the start of the 90-minute drama, purposefully meandering in her clingy summer dress and camera-ready makeup.” But she becomes “more believable” later in the play “as powers keep shifting from predator to victim, from lust to tenderness to violence and back.” The reviewer complimented Jonny Lee Miller’s performance, writing that he “twitches and flips between being an upward-mobile hustler and a besotted slave to the landowner’s overheated daughter, who hunts him down in the huge old kitchen of the estate.”
Variety stated that “Sienna Miller is out of her depth in the title role, making her dance of power and death an unaffecting tragedy.” He described Jonny Lee Miller as ‘first-rate’ and of Marine Ireland he said she was ‘overemphatic as the woman who blocks Julie’s way’.
The Associated Press’ critic Michael Kuchwara said “there is a relentless quality to Sienna Miller’s performance, not terribly subtle or vulnerable, but compelling in its obsessiveness”. As for the overall production, he stated that ‘ it makes for quite an explosive evening.'
The Chicago Tribune described Sienna Miller as “eminently watchable” as well as “gutsy”.
Time Out NY’s David Cote gave the show a rave review describing Sienna Miller as “a precise and emotionally raw Miss Julie.” and later saying “Yes, she has movie-star glamour, but Miller doesn’t rest on her curvaceous laurels. She goes on a harrowing journey that ends in tragic despair.” He ended his review by proclaiming “After quite a few lukewarm revivals, it’s nice to see the Roundabout revive a classic beyond period dress-up. Although casting Miller may have been a gamble, it’s one that pays off.”
USA Today’s Elysa Gardner said of Sienna Miller “She’s at once willful and confused, sad and irritating. It is, for all its surface bravado — Miller speaks loudly and crisply, almost spitting out her lines at times — a nuanced performance.” She gave the show 3 out of 4 stars.
Backstage’s Erik Haagensen was notably fond of Sienna Miller’s portrayal of Miss Julie explaining “Film star Sienna Miller essays the title character. Though this is only her second stage appearance, she is clearly to the medium born.” He went off to say “Even when Miss Julie’s actions threaten to destroy everyone around her, Miller makes her selfishness understandable and even sympathetic.”
1. Kelly Reilly’s Website – Reviews (After Miss Julie)
2. Night of guilty pleasures – Telegraph
3. After Miss Julie | | guardian.co.uk Arts
4. After Miss Julie Production Page – Theatre By The Lake
6.LA Times 2009
8.San Francisco Chonicle
9.Chicago Tribune After Miss Julie
10.NY 1 Best of Broadway
11.USA Today Life Theatre
12.Back Stage .com Reviews