Miss Julie

  • Theatre
The 2011 archive

by August Strindberg

Frédéric Fisbach

Paris / Created in 2011

A film of the show, produced by Nicolas Klotz, was broadcasted live on France 2 on 26 July.

Presentation

Tragedy or drama? Trivial event or autobiographical narrative? Naturalism or symbolism? Social criticism or psychoanalytical view? Class struggle or battle of genders? Miss Julie unquestionably encompasses all of these themes that make the great dramatic poems inexhaustible and fascinating. The play marks, in any case, a revolution in late 19th century writing: it opens the door to a reflection on modern theatre, built at the crossroads of various influences. It is this richness that interested Frédéric Fisbach, who is captivated by this "classic" text that transcends all time periods. By putting the play into a very contemporary set design, he endeavours to bring it closer to us and in this way help us to enter the intimacy of the characters. Well beyond the notions of social relations, this Miss Julie questions us on current relationships between men and women, relationships that are focused on desire and its completion, asking the question of whether love offers the possibility to change radically. From this uncertainty of the love affair, a malaise emerges, between incomprehension and frustrations, that is difficult to define but strongly felt. It is during Saint John's night, that sleepless night, a pagan feast during which music and drinking release people from the most constraining fetters, that Strindberg chose to orchestrate his tragedy, constantly postponed but foreshadowed. Because the desire of the idealistic Julie for Jean, her father's ambitious servant, is inescapably doomed to a dismal outcome. For this creation, Frédéric Fisbach has brought together three actors he never worked with: Juliette Binoche, who wished to return to the theatre, Nicolas Bouchaud and Bénédicte Cerutti. To approach this intimate drama in a different way, Frédéric Fisbach invites a group of amateurs on stage to compose a chorus under whose watchful gaze the three protagonists will inexorably destroy each other. During these few hours when "the wind blows and the lightning strikes," when Julie and Jean challenge the order of things and dream of leaving for another place which they hope, despite everything, will offer them a future...  

August Strindberg (1849-1912) was 39 years old when he wrote Miss Julie in 1888, during a stay in Denmark. Subtitled A Naturalistic Tragedy, in reference to Zola whom he greatly admired, the play caused a scandal. It was censored in Copenhagen, then in Stockholm until 1906. It was in Paris that it would finally be performed in 1893 by Antoine and his Théâtre Libre, put on again in 1894 by Lugné-Poe, before being presented in Europe and throughout the world to become, today, the most frequently performed work of this key figure in Swedish theatre.

JFP

Distribution

director Frédéric Fisbach
scenography and lighting Laurent P. Berger
costumes Alber Elbaz for Lanvin
Juliette Bincohe and Nicolas Bouchaud's costumes Alber Elbaz for Lanvin
dramaturg Benoît Résillot
translation Terje Sinding
artistic collaboration Raphaëlle Delaunay

with Juliette Binoche, Nicolas Bouchaud, Bénédicte Cerutti and a choir composed of about fifteen amateurs of Avignon

 

Production

production Festival d'Avignon
coproduction Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre Liberté de Toulon, Barbican London, La Comédie de Reims Centre dramatique national, CDDB-Théâtre de Lorient Centre dramatique national, France Télévisions, Compagnie Frédéric Fisbach
action financée par la Région Île-de-France
avec le soutien de la maison Lanvin et le soutien spécial de SPAC-Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
Par son soutien, l'Adami aide le Festival d'Avignon à s'engager sur des coproductions.

In pictures

Dire ce qu'on ne pense pas dans des langues qu'on ne parle pas © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

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