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After Miss Julie (Marber)

After Miss Julie (Marber)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Patrick Marber
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 40
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 0822224399
ISBN-13: 9780822224396
Cast Size: 2 women, 1 man

About the Play:

After Miss Julie is a full-length drama by Patrick Marber. This adaptation of August Strindberg's 1888 masterpiece Miss Julie moves the setting to 20th century England on the night of the Labour Party's election victory in 1945. After Miss Julie explores an "Upstairs, Downstairs" relationship between the young, wilful aristocrat Miss Julie and her status-obsessed servant.

After Miss Julie relocates the August Strindberg classic Miss Julie from the original 19th century Sweden to mid 20th century London, July 1945 to be precise: the year that Labour won its historic "landslide" election victory over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party at the end of the Second World War. The magical midsummer night's party that Strindberg creates for his play's setting has been transformed into a Labour Party Electoral victory celebration, with the servants merrymaking in the barn of the country house in which they are employed as servants. Does this victory mark an upturn in their fortunes, one where the working class will be their former master's new equals? Miss Julie hates her unseen father and the privilege position that he holds in society, especially the hypocrisy that allows him to be a Labour Peer even though he despises the working class. Miss Julie fraternizes with the servants and asserts that she views them as her equal, but rather then fraternize she patronizes them: she corrects their grammar and expects them to stand up when she enters the room. However, Miss Julie is not one to respect social convention, especially when her father is away and she has had a few drinks too many. She intrudes into the kitchen seeking the working-class John, her father's handsome chauffeur. As she flirts with John, indifferent to the presence of his fiancée and fellow servant Christine, what begins as game-playing ignites into passion with devastating consequences. Patrick Marber's innovative interpretation of Strindberg's classic 1888 play Miss Julie depicts the dramatic duel of rich and poor, freedom and class equality, of post-war politics and the sexual struggle of Master and Servant.

After Miss Julie, written and directed by Patrick Marber, was screened by BBC2 in November 1995 as part of the Performance season. The play received its stage premiere in 2003 at the Donmar Warehouse in London, England and its Broadway premiere in 2009 at American Airlines Theatre. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 1 man

What people say:

"Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie is the rare reimagining of a classic play that may actually improve upon the original." — New York Magazine

"I've lost count of the number of adaptations I've seen in recent years of August Strindberg's Miss Julie... After Miss Julie, by the British playwright Patrick Marber, is the only one of them that works. If it weren't for the awkward fact that it couldn't exist without its predecessor, I'd say that it was better than Strindberg." — The National Post

"An unforgettable night of white-hot theatrical intensity." — The Telegraph

"After Miss Julie 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)

About the Playwright:

Patrick Marber is an award-winning British playwright and screenwriter. He worked as a stand-up comedian for a number of years. He began his career as a writer in 1986. He co-wrote and appeared in a number of radio and television programs. In 1995 his first play, Dealer's Choice, premiered at the National Theatre in a production he also directed. Since then he has written plays and screenplays and also written extensively for television and radio.

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