by August Strindberg
After the knockabout farce of Molière’s The Reluctant Doctor, Eclectic Theatre returns to a more sombre theme with Miss Julie by August Strindberg. Generally regarded as a model of naturalistic theatre, Miss Julie is a savage depiction of the class and sex wars. On midsummer’s eve, Miss Julie, the daughter of a count, flirts with her servant until things get out of hand, and they have sex (they don’t “make love”). With astonishingly acute psychological perception Strindberg portrays the self-disgust, bitterness and hatred of two people who are only out to use one another. The play is not only a landmark in the history of European theatre: it is a ruthless unmasking of “civilized” values and of the darker side of human sexuality.
As Miss Julie is a one act play with a cast of three, Eclectic Theatre took this production to Coventry in April 2012. We had been invited to perform there as part of a cultural festival organised by the Coventry Association for International Friendship, and were naturally very keen to participate, especially as the artistic director is an Englishman. We believe that this performance has raised our international profile, and we felt honoured to represent the city of Dresden in Coventry.
DRESDNER Kulturmagazin (online) 02/04/2012
“August Strindberg wrote in his preface that he preferred a small stage for Miss Julie, as well as a small auditorium, and actors with only a very modest make-up. Eclectic Theatre does master this kind of naturalistic theatre very well. […] Miss Julie can be recommended, in particular to those who have had enough of established theatres and are looking forward to a well-done and pure chamber drama.”
John Moore – Secretary Coventry Association for International Friendship (April 2012)
“I am writing to express the immense pleasure felt by myself and my fellow members of the Coventry Association For International Friendship, when Dresden’s Eclectic Theatre performed Strinberg’s Miss Julie in Coventry on April 14. We owe a debt of gratitude to Michael Halstead, the Director of the play, to producer Berit Barz and not least to the cast, Juliane Fengler, Robert Lewetzky and Franziska Just. The intensity and subtlety of the process of laying bare the nature of the two protagonists exceeded my expectations. The Lord Mayor of our city in his speech after the performance said how much he admired the performance.”