Mies Julie by Yael Farber at Riverside Studios
Assembly and Riverside Studios present the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town in association with South African State Theatre, Mies Julie , adapted from August Strindberg's Miss Julie by Yael Farber, at the Riverside Studio 2 Theatre, in Hammersmith, west London, from 7 Mar to 19 May 2013.
Directed by Yael Farber, designed by Patrick Curtis, lighting by Paul Adams. Cast includes Bongile Mantsai (John), Thokozile Ntshinga (Christine), Hilda Cronje (Julie).
A contemporary reworking, transposing this 1888 parable of class and gender to a remote, bleak farm in modern day South Africa’s Cape Karoo. Against the pulsating, poignant backdrop of the annual Freedom Day celebrations, Xhosa farm labourer John and Mies Julie, the daughter of his white Afrikaans master, embark on a ruinous night, fuelled by drink, heat, generation-deep resentments and earthy, brutal, primal passion. Christine, meanwhile - recast as his mother and Julie’s childhood nurse - continues to scrub the floor as three generations of her family have: a manifest emblem of the old regime, her very fingerprints worn away by servitude. In the sweltering heat of her kitchen, pots bubble threateningly, a fan spins ineffectually, sexual tension builds dangerously and into the whole volatile brew are thrown all the explosive, unresolved legacies of the apartheid era: race, power, land restitution and ancestral rights, all distilled into one shocking, bestial display of sado-masochistic desire.