Review: Miss Julie – Perth Theatre

First published in The Times, Wednesday February 20 2019

Three Stars

Unlike those pesky, proverbial buses, productions of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie tend to come along with reassuring frequency. Since its premiere in 1889 the story of the aristocratic young Swedish woman fatally drawn to her father’s servant has reached far beyond its original setting and time frame.

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Review: Creditors – Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday May 3 2018

Four Stars

August Strindberg wrote Creditors in 1888 as part of the creative torrent that also produced his most famous work, Miss Julie. Both plays exhibit the visceral dialogue and intense exploration of shifts in power within relationships for which the prolific and influential Swedish playwright is known, while also giving vent to his mordant and rather contradictory view of women. He was known to refer to Siri von Essen, the first of his three wives, as “the vampire”, though he also maintained that “the presence of women tends to elevate men”.

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Review: Dance of Death – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday May 3 2016

Four Stars

August Strindberg wasn’t the first playwright to portray marriage as a fight to the death, but his vision of a man and woman locked in symbiosis has certainly echoed down the years. The influence of his 1900 play The Dance of Death can be felt in everything from Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to pretty much every sitcom marriage of the Seventies and Eighties.

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