Eccleston Woos Miss Julie at HaymarketDate: 19 January 2000
British film star Christopher Eccleston will star in August Strindberg's 1888 play Miss Julie, in a new version by Frank McGuinness. Directed by Michael Boyd, the production will debut next month in Windsor before transferring to the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket on 29 February, previews from 23 February, for a limited 14-week season.
In Strindberg's classic of misogyny, snobbery and sex, the aristocratic Miss Julie seduces her father's socially aspiring valet, Jean. But after the sexual thrill dies out, and with Julie's reputation and honour at stake, the relationship turns to terror, misadventure and bloodshed.
Eccleston, who plays Jean, is well known for his many gritty roles on film and television, which include David in Shallow Grave, the title role in Jude, the Duke of Norfolk in Elizabeth and, on the small screen, Sergeant Bilborough in Cracker and Nicky in Our Friends in the North.
Eccleston is joined by Aisling O'Sullivan, as Julie, and Maxine Peake, as Kristin. O'Sullivan's stage credits include Vassa (Almeida at the Albery), Mutabilitie and The Cripple of Innishman (National), and Hysteria (Royal Court). Peake has appeared in many TV series including Dinner Ladies (in which she plays Twinkle), Coronation Street and Jonathan Creek.
Miss Julie is directed by Boyd with design by Tom Piper, lighting by Rick Fisher and movement direction by Liz Ranken - the same team behind the RSC's current acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to his own plays, author McGuinness has been involved in numerous adaptations, including the 1997 Tony Award-winning production of Ibsen's A Doll's House, starring Janet McTeer.
Miss Julie is produced by Thelma Holt and Bill Kenwright. It plays at the Theatre Royal Windsor 8-19 February 2000 prior to its Haymarket run.