After Miss Julie – Teachers’ Club – Review


After Miss Julie – Review by C. K. MacNamara

Writer: Patrick Marber, August Strindberg

Director: Sarah Munro

Starring: Kaoline Rose O’Sullivan, Luke Middlebrook, Andrea Cleary

Playing at Theatre@36, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin from May 19th-23rd at 8pm.

The ‘forbidden love’ archetype is often a double edged sword, boiling a productions success down to the performance of the actors. Such is the nature of Sarah Munro’s adaptation of After Miss Julie, which boasts a glittering cast and a laundry list of technical mishaps.

Set in the kitchen of a post-war English party chauffeur John finds himself beset by ‘his Lordships’ daughter Julie, a capricious blend of giddy hedonism and backhanded compliments. The Orwellian ‘Vote Labour!’ poster backdrop lends a quirky charm to the class based love story, as characters warble over love and fatalistic philosophy between cigarettes and sexual euphemisms.

Karoline Rose O’Sullivan as Julie provides a standout performance, delivering a cocktail of bubbly exuberance and comedic wit as she fluctuates between flirtatious temptress and frantic basket-case cobbling together schemes to escape her father. Luke Middlebrook as John gives a charming if clichéd portrayal of the servant-scholar, swilling burgundy and class system politics in between shining his Lordships’ shoes.

However, the performances are undercut by poor pacing and sound design, with the music a crackling whisper at best and entirely absent at worst, protracting the occasional awkward silence into unbearable stretches of inactivity as actors attempt to ignore the high pitch whine of the speakers.

Overall the play is a jumble of technical quibbles and stellar performances, which perseveres in spite of its setbacks to deliver an emotionally charged diamond in the rough.

Playing at Theatre@36, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin from May 19th-23rd at 8pm Bookings at www.clementinetheatre.com


Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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