It would be nice to see a production of Miss Julie in which Strindberg’s instructions for a naturalistic setting which exists largely in the wings, and that we see only a corner of, were actually followed. There are too many boxed-in containment units that improbably and without deviation follow the exact dimensions of the stage.
Perhaps that is a part of the explanation as to why I found the final moments of Patrick Marber’s AFTER MISS JULIE to be strangely unconvincing even given what had come moments before from Sienna Miller. She is extremely well-cast as Miss Julie, celebrity star turn and all. For moments at a time actor and role are one, yet ironically reversed. Julie’s emotional nadir is Miller’s apex: her Julie is as dangerous and unpredictable as a downed wire dancing on asphalt in the rain.
The updating of the play from aristocratic Sweden to the post-WWII Labour Party victory in England is carried off by some very smart writing, and the other actors – Johnny Lee Miller and Marin Ireland – are excellent in their own right. I attended one of the previews, so perhaps the ending will gain conviction by the official opening.
For more on the production, click here.