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By Zinnie Harris
Newcastle Northern Stage
Friday 3rd – Saturday 18th June 2016.
Northern Stage Resident Director Rebecca Frecknall directs Zinnie Harris’ update of August Strindberg’s mas-terpiece, Miss Julie. A classic tale of passion, compulsion, love and hate, Julie is set against a backdrop of workers’ strikes and social unrest making it as relevant today as ever.
Director Rebecca Frecknall said: “I’ve been drawn to this play for years. I first watched an amateur production of the original Strindberg play when I was in my teens and then my first professional directing job was as assistant director on Patrick Marber's version at the Young Vic. It seems beautifully serendipitous that my first fully professional production at Northern Stage explores the same story!
“Zinnie's take on 'Miss Julie' really sparked my imagination when I first read it. Her incarnations of the char-acters are so contemporary and complex and her reworking and strengthening of the female characters gives the play a whole other level of game-playing not present in the original. It's a very sexy and political piece, but ultimately I'm drawn to the tensions and games between the characters.
“I think that audiences are drawn to plays that have stood the test of time and this production is particularly timely politically. The background to the immediate action of the play is a workers union strike and the presence of this civil unrest is an undercurrent that permeates the entire story. Recently, with the Junior Doctors’ and even school children out on strike, I’ve been feeling how necessary it is that theatres revive stories that deal with the human fall-out of this restlessness and desire for change in society.”
Pearl Chanda will play the lead role of Julie. A RADA graduate, Pearl last appeared at Northern Stage as Nina in Headlong’s playful 2013 production of Chekhov’s masterpiece The Seagull, adapted by award-winning writer John Donnelly and directed by Blanche McIntyre.
Michael Grady Hall will play John. Michael has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company since graduating from RADA, most recently playing Frank in the RSC’s critically acclaimed sell out run of Oppenheimer which transferred to the West End.
Rona Morison will play Christine. As well as The James Plays (National Theatre), Rona has appeared in Bristol Old Vic’s production of The Crucible, directed by War Horse director Tom Morris, the Bush Theatre’s UK tour of Crave/Illusion, Royal Court Theatre’s Anhedonia and Scuttlers (Manchester Royal Exchange).
Julie was written by award-winning British playwright, director and screenwriter Zinnie Harris for the Na-tional Theatre of Scotland in 2006. Director Rebecca Frecknall is joined on the creative team by Set & Cos-tume Designer Madeleine Girling, winner of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design in 2013. Lighting Design is by Joshua Pharo whose recent theatre credits include In the Night Time (Gate Theatre) and The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree Theatre). The original score and sound design is by Nick John Williams whose recent work includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Northern Stage, directed by Mark Calvert.
PLEASE NOTE: This performance contains full female nudity.
Running time: 90 mins
Tickets: £14.50 / £12 concessions
Previews: Fri 3 & Sat 4 Jun: £10.50
Post-show Discussion: Wed 15 June
British Sign Language performance Signed by Faye Alvi - Fri 17 Jun, 7.30pm
For full details or to book tickets online visit http://www.northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/julie or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.