See it if Muscular resentful black servant seduced by bored white farm daughter. Violent sexuality, class conflict, & ancestors who haunt the land.
Don't see it if You don't want to be confronted by intensely sexual and violent scenes, and a hopeless no-win situation. Difficult accents.
See it if For serious, moving, disturbing emotionally challenging but creative well acted theater. Taking chances with the old to get to the new.
Don't see it if If your squeamish about real life on stage (sex and death are to be seen)
See it if Strindberg's play reset to 21st century post-apartheid South Africa with the lasting effects of the previous injustices. Landowner's*
Don't see it if don't want graphic sexual & violent scenes; accents that are very hard to understand** Read more
See it if to see Strindberg's 19th C Swedish play on class & power reset in 21st C South Africa, where colonialism & race clash to an erotic crescendo
Don't see it if you're a Strindberg purist; you're embarrassed by frank & sometimes violent sexual situations; you're uncomfortable w/theatre-in-the-round. Read more
See it if Farber's racial overlay on Strindberg's drama of class constraints makes for a combustible evening Ali's circular staging adds a caged heat
Don't see it if Kibler's Julie is a little to Lolita-esque for this impassioned production (she's got the privilege right) Udom & Chevannes are excellent
See it if Neither Strindberg nor Fugard. Useful to know some South African history. Polemics.Patrice Johnson Chevannes is great. Good not very good.
Don't see it if You don't want to deal with some strong South African accents
See it if you appreciate good acting & don't mind a version that changes the time & place significantly, with accents that are often incomprehensible.
Don't see it if you will be embarrassed by extremely explicit onstage sex .
See it if A new take on a classic interests you
Don't see it if You are not familiar with the original play. It might be confusing and annoying.
"The toxic love that develops between Julie (Elise Kibler) and the black servant John is strangled almost from its inception by societal sins past. That perspective is heightened by the performance of Kibler, who looks defenselessly young and unformed...Julie’s passivity shifts the emphasis from the play’s title character to John and his mother, Christine. They are both excellent...The sense of a world in which everyone is terminally rootless comes across with haunting acuteness."
"South African playwright Yaël Farber cleverly uses the template of Strindberg’s 1888 play 'Miss Julie' to explore clashes of class, gender, race and ownership in her homeland...Ali's raw, in-the-round staging...is meant to jar. It leaves nothing to the imagination...Kibler isn't as strong as her costars—her accent is as fickle as her character's emotions—but Julie’s fate is still haunting, as is Farber's insight into what continues to ail their country."
"Kibler and Udom’s piercing performances make 'Mies Julie' resonate, but director Shariffa Ali never quite drives the heady electricity and malicious, unresolvable hurt of the story home...The strength of this 'Mies Julie' lies in Kibler and Udom’s chemistry and in their ability to keep finding the contradictions in the characters. Strindberg’s plays were always more human and complex than his analyses of his own writing."
"Directed by Shariffa Ali with stingingly harsh vigor and acted with like impact...While Ms. Ali’s staging is strong enough to give pleasure in its own right, I’m not sure why Classic Stage has opted to produce a modern commentary on a 19th-century classic that so few of its viewers will know save by reputation...The audience would have been better served had the producers stuck to Strindberg."
"Udon and Kibler make thrilling stage partners, pushing uncomfortable physical and emotional boundaries to their breaking points under Ali's bold direction. The tragic ending may be as preordained as that in 'The Dance of Death,' but rather than watching in woeful resignation, 'Mies Julie' makes you want to reach onto the stage (like the legendary Vinie Burrows in her ghostly cameo) and change the social architecture that's signed its characters' fates."
“A tense and sizzling production...The setting is moved to the Karoo of South Africa on the 18th Anniversary of Freedom Day...Passions and social politics meet nose to nose...Their rough, but consensual, sexual encounter, staged with striking realism by fight and intimacy directors Alicia Rodis and Claire Warden, carries the same symbolism that the source's author conveyed less graphically in the 19th Century, though with the added layer brought on by the pair's racial divide."
"Benefits from a director with a vivid, gripping vision and a cast willing to burrow deep into dark psychological corners; together, they make a compelling case for plays that often come across as creaky fulminations by a great writer...If Ali's taut direction never slackens across the seventy-five-minute running time, her production also benefits from the steamy pairing of Kibler and James Udom...The best argument in some time for the continuing relevance of his plays."
"Farber has found a smart way to spin on 'Miss Julie'...Making the bold transition, she is able not only to stress the sexual politics of the explosive play but introduce a more profound political perspective...Director Ali’s actors are superb...When a playwright decides to fiddle with well-loved plays, it’s often a problem, but here’s a rare example of a truly authoritative spin."