This production of Miss Julie, by the Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company, keeps things simple and focused on the complex subtext of Strindberg’s work (here in a proficient translation by Michael Meyer).
August Strindberg is best known for the violence of his views on sexual politics. Miss Julie and Dance of Death are nothing if not agonised and agonising examinations of the hopeless wish to find equanimity in human relations between men and women.
Miss Julie is set on Midsummer’s Eve during a party on the estate of a rich Swedish Count whose daughter is known for behaving, not only with wild abandon, but also below her status. She finds a fascination with the older and well educated valet of the estate, Jean and the two become entangled in a dangerous infatuation that endangers both his engagement with the family cook and her own status in the house.