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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 30 July 2021

Miss Julie At New Venture Theatre Brighton Retains Its Shock Factor After More Than A Century

Written in 1888, Miss Julie - which comes to New Venture Theatre, Brighton - caused outrage when it opened and was banned by the censors — yet over 130 years later, it's no surprise that this powerful drama still retains its shock factor.   

Set on Midsummer's Eve on a country estate, the manor celebrates the annual festivities freely. 

The count is away and his daughter, Miss Julie, is determined to let her hair down with the household staff. 

The valet Jean is driven to escape his working-class roots and prove himself better than his masters, while his fiancée Kristin has no such ambitions; the cook simply wants to establish her future family life with Jean. 

As the night progresses, Miss Julie's longing to escape a life of social responsibility, and the need to maintain the family's position, lights the fuse to a powder keg that threatens to destroy them all.

Written by August Strindberg, the 19th century play deals with far more than class war and a battle of the sexes. 

The Swedish playwright delivers ideas on female emancipation that were ahead of the curve, along with the effects of a traumatic childhood and a bond with faith that, although strongly Christian, retained links to Norse mythology. 

With more than a century having passed, you could be forgiven for thinking Miss Julie bears little relevance to the modern day; yet while the world has moved on, there are still strikingly resonant parallels with today's fascination with the privileged, and a thirst for scandal. 

Mark Lester directs his second full-length play for the New Venture Theatre, following James McLure's Laundry and Bourbon/Lone Star in 2019, and is proud to be part of its Artistic Director team. 

Over four years, Mark has also appeared in The Deep Blue Sea, the NVT's award-winning Anna Christie, Jumpy, The Father, Gabriel and The Winterling. Miss Julie will feature Victoria Storm in the title role. 

Victoria is an actor and writer, who first appeared at the NVT in 2019 playing two roles in the Short Play Festival, and also wrote and performed her monologue Objection as part of the NVT's online digital event in 2020. 

Please note that Miss Julie will be performed in the New Venture Theatre's Studio theatre, and is not suitable for children due to adult themes. The production runs until Saturday 31st July 2021. Ticket prices will be £9 for NVT members and £10 for non-members, and are available through the NVT website.  

by: Mike Cobley

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