South African Mies Julie is 'shorter, sexier and better'
Yael Farber's thrilling Mies Julie 'blows the dust off Strindberg's theatrical shocker'
What you need to know
Yael Farber's South African adaptation of August Strindberg's classic play Miss Julie, has opened at the Riverside Studios, London following its UK premiere at last year's Edinburgh Festival.
Mies Julie moves the action of Strindberg's play from 19th century Sweden to a farm in contemporary South Africa to explore class and race tensions. Here, Mies Julie is the sullen daughter of a Boer farmer, who provokes a disastrous sexual encounter with the father's servant John.
Yael Farber directs her own adaptation for Cape Town's Baxter Theatre. Hilda Cronje plays Julie and Bongile Mantsai is John. Until 19 May.
What the critics like
Farber's new version of the classic drama is "shorter, sexier — and better", says Dominic Maxwell in The Times. The acting is bold throughout in this erotic, vicious show, creating "a world that is both horribly real and utterly theatrical".
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer says: "It is by a mile the most thrilling and explosively sexual production of the play I have ever seen." Farber's tense, hurtling production "blows the dust off Strindberg's theatrical shocker and turns it into an unforgettable play for today".
Farber's production is "acutely intelligent", says Maddy Costa in The Guardian. She adds race and colonial history to the volatile politics of class and gender, and the atmosphere pulses "with anger and threat".
What they don't like
The acting is wild and thrilling, but the dialogue can be heavy-handed, says Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. When the grievances switch from the personal to the political, "the tone is didactic". ·