Miss Julie

by August Strindberg

The Whys


The Who


The Whats

August, Our Lad
The Anglo-Irish Go Sweden

You've probably been wondering why on earth the Anglo-Irish Theatre Group, renowned for staging Irish plays in the English language (and, bad enough, even English plays in the English language), is putting up a play by a Swede. There are, of course, some striking similarities between, say, GB Shaw and Sam Beckett and August Strindberg: they are dead men. If that was enough, however, we might as well stage a play by Ludwig Anzengruber (famous Austrian 19th century playwright), but - be grateful here! - we decided against it.

But seriously… There's only one person to blame for these strange developments, and that's Mr Patrick Marber. Marber, English playwright and author of successful works such as Closer and Dealer's Choice also wrote a filmscript with the title "After Miss Julie". It's a somewhat modernised version of Strindberg's play with emphasis on psychological rather than social conflicts. Marber changed the setting to England in the 1940s and added a bit of swearing, sex and violence - just the right stuff for an evening's entertainment. So we had a casting, we had a read-through and then we got mail: "Thank you for your letter of 30th October 2002. Unfortunately the rights for this play are no longer available." A further inquiry didn't lead to a better result: "The rights are not available until 2004. I hope this is helpful." Sure, it's always good to be able to do some long-term planning.

To cut a long story short: After frantic discussions we decided that we liked the story as such, so we got started on rehearsals. Now that the play is quite presentable, all there's left to say is - enjoy the show!

Tina Schäfer