Jean and Christine are a seemingly committed couple working in the home of a powerful politician. While he is away, they are in charge of his impetuous daughter, Julie, who is very aware of her sexuality and attraction to Jean.
“I know you’re just being playful, but it’s a dangerous kind of game to play,” Jean warns Julie.
Based on August Strindberg’s 1888 play, Simon Stone’s adaptation of Miss Julie has translated well to a contemporary Australian landscape. In two acts, Stone extracts the universal themes of sex, love and power and examines them within a modern relationship. It is a union divided by age, class and privilege.
The lead performances make the play gripping. Brendan Cowell brings a larrikin-like ease to Jean, creating subtle yet humorous moments. Taylor Ferguson, in her theatrical debut, is intense and fearless as Julie, showing the extreme emotional whims of the teen.
When these polar opposites interact, it reveals the dark side of relationships; the dire consequences when certain boundaries are crossed and innocence is corrupted. (MP)
Until Oct 6, Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills, $45-65, (02) 9699 3444, belvoir.com.au