Battle of the sexes (and the classes)

editorial image

IT’S A tale of upstairs-downstairs at the Citizens Theatre this week — and there’s a well-kent face at the helm.

Louise Brealey, star of BBC’s Sherlock, makes her debut at the southside venue in a new production of Miss Julie.

The August Strindberg tale (premiered in 1888 and so shocking that it was censored at the time) was adapted by Zinnie Harris in 2005 — and it’s this version that artistic director Dominic Hill is bringing to the Gorbals.

The action is set in 1920s Scotland, with the economic toll of the First World War looming large as the working classes go on strike and the upper classes feel an ever-increasing pinch.

It’s a hot summer night, and Miss Julie is playing dangerous, flirtatious games with her father’s butler, John — all leading to an explosive conclusion.

Director Dominic Hill said: “This is a play about sexual politics: the battle of the sexes, sexual desire and the way men and women negotiate and manipulate to get what they want.

“For me, this is what makes the play truly timeless. I’m pleased that we’ll be presenting this landmark text on the Citizens’ main stage for the first time.”

Joining the Sherlock star on stage is Scottish actor Keith Fleming (Macbeth at the Tron), alongside Citz actor intern Jessica Hardwick (Crime and Punishment).

The Citz production is certainly topical, as there’s a film version (starring Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton) scheduled for release in 2014 — making it one to watch first, and right here in the southside.

Miss Julie runs Feb 6-15, 7.30pm (no performances on Sun and Mon) plus a 2.30pm mat on Sat, Feb 15. Tickets are £12-£19.50 from www.citz.co.uk.