One of Australia’s most exciting and innovative young directors, Kip Williams, brings the theatrical masterpiece Miss Julie to Melbourne Theatre Company, opening on Thursday 21 April at Southbank Theatre, The Sumner.
Robin McLeavy (Hell on Wheels) takes on the eponymous lead role in this classic story of desire, choice and class warfare, starring opposite the inimitable Mark Leonard Winter (Birdland) and Zahra Newman (The Mountaintop).
Miss Julie marks the MTC debut of Kip Williams who, as Sydney Theatre Company’s Resident Director, has received critical acclaim for his recent revivals of Macbeth and Suddenly Last Summer, for which he won the 2015 Helpmann Award for Best Director of a Play.
Director Kip Williams said, ‘Miss Julie is one of the canon’s great psychological thrillers. It drips with an intoxicating sexual tension and a dangerous power play. For generations, theatre makers have been drawn to it to reinvestigate questions of class, gender, and sexuality.’
Miss Julie is wild again tonight. Midsummer’s Eve is her time, a night when rules are broken, when class barriers are set aside and the young mistress of the manor can dance with whomever she pleases. She chooses Jean, her father’s valet, and for a few hours, through the long twilight, they play a dangerous game of What If? But the enchantment cannot last and soon the dawn will break.
Kip Williams has earned a reputation as one of the most inspiring young directors in the country. He has directed for theatre, opera and film, and is currently Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company. While at STC he has directed Suddenly Last Summer, for which he won the award for Best Director at the 2015 Helpmann Awards. He has also directed Macbeth, Children Of The Sun, Romeo And Juliet, Under Milkwood and was Associate Director with Andrew Upton on Cyrano De Bergerac. During this time he has directed some of Australia’s leading actors including Hugo Weaving, Jacqueline McKenzie, Richard Roxburgh, Justine Clark, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson. For Malthouse Theatre’s Helium and US-A-UM he directed an all-female production of Lord Of The Flies; for Tamarama Rock Surfers he directed Fallout and for the Sydney Writers’ Festival he directed 1001 Nights. His other credits include Fifth Of July (Princeton Theatre, New Jersey); One For The Road (for National Theatre, Melbourne), and of Cloud 9, Lord Of The Flies and Samuel Beckett’s Not (NIDA). In 2015, Kip directed Caryl Churchill’s new play Love And Information in a co-production for Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company.
August Strindberg was a writer and artist of Swedish origin and considered a master of early modern century drama for his daringly realistic plays. Strindberg’s career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. In his plays The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888) and Creditors (1889), he created naturalistic dramas that often drew directly on his personal experience.
Cast Robin McLeavy, Zahra Newman, Mark Leonard Winter
Director Kip Williams
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Set and Costume Designer Alice Babidge
Composer and Sound Designer THE SWEATS
‘Kip Williams is confirmed as a major directing talent.’ The Guardian
‘Themes of class, clout, cash, gender, love and lust.’ Crikey
‘As astonishing a feat of acting as I have seen.’ ABC Arts (on Mark Leonard Winter in Birdland)
Southbank Theatre, The Sumner
16 April – 21 May
Thursday 21 April, 8pm
Cast and Artist Q&A
Monday 11 April, 6pm
Southbank Theatre Box Office 03 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au