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South African drama Mies Julie sizzles with erotic heat

A South African adaptation of Strindberg's classic play is an unflinching look at race and sexual issues

Published on Aug 19, 2014 11:19 AM
In Mies Julie, the verbal sparring and heightened tension between John (Bongile Mantsai) and Miss Julie (Hilda Cronje) eventually culminates in wild, boundary-breaking sex. -- PHOTO: MARK WESSELS

See the ragged, beating heart of South Africa ripped out and laid bare on stage in Mies Julie, a blazing modern adaptation of Swedish playwright August Strindberg's 19th-century classic.

Two years after a sensational premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the play will open here at the DBS Arts Centre on Aug 27. It is produced by the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town in association with the South African State Theatre and presented here by the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

While Strindberg's original was set more than a century ago in Europe, South African writer-director Yael Farber transports the audience to the present, in the semi-desert Karoo region of her country.

On Freedom Day, which marks the anniversary of the first democratic election held in 1994, the white daughter of a farmer, Miss Julie, gets swept up in a battle of words and worlds with black family servant John.

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Where: DBS Arts Centre

When: Aug 27 to Sept 13, Monday to Saturday, 8pm

Admission: Monday to Thursday, $50 and $60; Friday and Saturday, $60 and $70, from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)