from an original work by August Strindberg translated by Howard Brenton
Howard Brenton's adaptation of August Strindberg's play Miss Julie (from a literal translation by Agnes Broome) was first performed at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, on 30 June 2017 and later at Jermyn Street Theatre, London, on 14 November 2017, in a production by Theatre by the Lake and Jerymn Street Theatre.
The play is set in the kitchen of a manor house on Midsummer’s Eve. The house's owner, the Earl, is away visiting relatives, but his 25-year-old daughter Julie, whose engagement has just been broken off, has stayed at home with the servants. When Julie gatecrashes the servants' party, she finds herself in a dangerous tryst with her father's valet, Jean. What begins as a flirtatious game gradually descends, over the course of a long and sultry night, into a savage fight for survival.
Howard Brenton, in a foreword to the published script, writes that 'I wanted to do something that’s impossible – to write a play so true to Strindberg that it would seem it was he, not I, who was writing Miss Julie in English. ... So what I wrote is, yes, a bold reworking, using all I could muster to make it alive. But I took nothing away nor did I add anything. I had a strict rule that all the thoughts, expressions and images must be from the original.'
The Theatre by the Lake/Jerymn Street Theatre production was directed by Tom Littler with set and costume design by Louie Whitemore. The cast was Izabella Urbanowicz as Kristin, James Sheldon as Jean and Charlotte Hamblin as Miss Julie.