When: Saturday, 24 August - Sunday, 6 October
Where: Belvoir St Theatre Upstairs, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills
How much: $65/45/29
August Strindberg was a hugely influential Swedish playwright who basically wrote the manifesto for naturalism, but that's not what makes his most famous play, Miss Julie, so enduring; it's the rampant sexual tension that grips its two leads across boundaries of class and circumstance. Miss Julie is the Dirty Dancing of the 19th century, basically, elevated by a rich interpretation of the battle of the sexes, of the permutations of power, and of love as tragedy.
The one-act drama takes place on Midsummer's Eve on the estate of the Count of Sweden, father of Miss Julie. In the middle of the celebrations, she increasingly winds up dallying with Jean, a long-time servant of the house. The question of who is using whom arises as they formulate a plan to run away and start their own hotel.
Belvoir is promising an invigorating rewrite of Miss Julie by Simon Stone. In an interesting move given Stone's known success with collaboration and writing on the fly throughout rehearsals, he won't be directing his adaptation, instead handing it over to Leticia Cáceres. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this separation of roles, and it bodes well when the work is in the hands of Cáceres, whose chilling The Dark Room in late 2011 was an unforgettable evening of theatre. Her Dark Room compatriot Brendan Cowell is attached to star as Jean.