August Strindberg

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Plays by August Strindberg

Creditors (trans. Greig)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Anxiously awaiting the return of his new wife, Adolph finds solace in the words of a stranger. But comfort soon turns to destruction as old wounds are opened, insecurities are laid bare and former debts are settled.

Regarded as Strindberg's most mature work, Creditors is a darkly comic tale of obsession, honour and revenge. David Greig's version premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in September 2008.

Julie (adapt. Harris)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

In the oppressive heat of Midsummer's Eve, Julie, daughter of the lord, is drawn into a dangerous tryst with her father's butler. As the night wears on, the couple, from opposite ends of the social spectrum, dance, flirt and fight towards an explosive conclusion that will shake the existing order to its core.

Zinnie Harris's new version of Strindberg's nineteenth-century masterpiece, Miss Julie, relocates the play to central Scotland between the wars.

The play premiered at Platform, Easterhouse, in a National Theatre of Scotland Ensemble production in September 2006.

Miss Julie (trans. Eldridge)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A conflict of sexual passion and social position that is jagged and gripping. Miss Julie is shocking in subject-matter, revolutionary in technique, and was fiercely attacked on publication for immorality.

It is Midsummer in Sweden and Miss Julie, the Count’s daughter, appears in the kitchen, confronting her father’s valet Jean. The restless and electric exchanges between them are a snarl of seduction and contempt, their unseen sexual transgression undoing the restrictions of servility and hierarchy. Strindberg writes with disdain of a woman deformed by her belief that she is equal to man, but Miss Julie emerges as a compellingly mercurial character, tense and hysterical and tragic.

Written in a fortnight and often regarded as Strindberg's masterpiece, the play's premiere at Strindberg's experimental theatre in Denmark in 1889 was banned by the censor and its first public production three years later in Berlin aroused such protests that it was withdrawn after one performance. David Eldridge’s contemporary and faithful translation was first performed in 2012 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Picture of August Strindberg

August Strindberg (1849-1912) was born in Stockholm and began writing plays in 1869. He is considered the 'father' of modern Swedish literature and was an important precursor to both expressionism and surrealism. His first major play was Master Olof, written in 1872 but not performed for nine years. His other plays include The Red Room (1879), The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888), Inferno (1897), To Damascus (1898), A Dream Play (1902) and The Ghost Sonata (1908). He died on 14 May 1912 at the age of 63.