Miss Julie

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by August Strindberg (1849-1912).

The play

(Swedish: Fröken Julie) is a naturalistic play written in 1888. Strindberg completed it in 1888 and staged its first production in 1889. The play, written in Swedish, was published in expurgated form in Copenhagen in 1889 by Joseph Seligmann (1836-1904), a Swedish publisher. The deleted passages have since been restored. The first production in Stockholm took place in November 1906, at The People's Theatre, with Sacha Sjöström as Kristin, Manda Björling as Miss Julie, and August Falck as Jean.

Translations and adaptations


Translated into English as Miss Julie and first performed in England in

Translated into Afrikaans as


In 1985 Bobby Heaney en John Slemon adapted the play to South Africa by making it an issue of black/white relationships, but retained the basic text for the controversial production.

Another, more radical, localized South African adaptation of Strindberg's play was written by Yaël Farber in 2011, and subtitled: Restitutions of Body and Soil Since The Bantu Land Act No. 27 of 1913 and The Immorality Act No. 5 of 1927 The text was published by Oberon Books in 2011.

South African Productions

Countess Julie (FATSSA Play Festival, 1945)

Put on by the Natal University College at the 1945 FATSSA play festival. With Walter Martin as Jean, the play won the Festival Award. Martin, for best individual performance, won the Breytenbach Cup. The production also featured Norah Southwood and Millicent Posselt.

Miss Julie (CAPAB (1973)

Produced by CAPAB in 1973 with Lois Butlin, Roger Dwyer and Marion Achber.

Miss Julie (Baxter Theatre, 1985)

In 1985 Bobby Heaney en John Slemon staged a controversial production of the play at the Baxter Theatre and the Market Theatre, one in which the servants Jean (John) and Kirstin (Christine) are black and Miss Julie is a white landowner's daughter. Directed by Bobby Heaney, with the leading Black actor of the time, John Kani, and Sandra Prinsloo, the leading White Afrikaans actress of her generation, and Natie Rula. The play opened in 1985 at Baxter Theatre in Cape Town to a mild reception, then went on to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, where it met with huge opposition and controversy, including a staged walkout by right-wing Afrikaners on the opening night, and death threats made against the actress. The production also visited Edinburgh Festival that year. A TV film version of this production was made in 1986, with the same cast and again directed by Bobby Heaney and Finnish director, Mikael Wahlforss. It was filmed in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa and released on the 29 May 1986 in Finland.

Miss Julie (University Theatre Stellenbosch, 1989)

Presented by University Theatre Stellenbosch, directed by Noël Roos in the H.B. Thom Theatre, March 1989, with Lynn Smith, Duncan Johnson, Tanya Swanepoel.

Mies Julie (Yaël Farber, 2012)

A localized adaptation of Strindberg's play, written by Yaël Farber and subtitled: Restitutions of Body and Soil Since The Bantu Land Act No. 27 of 1913 and The Immorality Act No. 5 of 1927 The text was published by Oberon Publishers in

2012-2013: Presented by The Baxter Theatre Centre in association with the South African State Theatre, directed by Yaël Farber with Thoko Ntshinga as Christine, Bongile Mantsai as John, and Hilda Cronje as Mies Julie. Music composed by Daniel Pencer and Matthew Pencer, music performed by: Brydon Bolton, Mark Fransmanand Tandiwe Nofirst Lungisa (singer and musician). Set and lighting design by Patrick Curtis, original lighting design by Paul Abrams and costumes by Birrie le Roux.

This production played to great acclaim at the Baxter Theatre, the Edinburgh Assembly Fringe Festival in Scotland, the State Theatre in Pretoria, St Ann's Warehouse in New York, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, the 2012 National Arts Festival and the Riverside Studios in London between July 2012 and July 2013. It has garnered numerous awards in the same period.


Trek 10(8):23, 1945.


Pat Schwartz, 19**

19/06/2013 - Artslink News

The Baxter Theatre[1]


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