This January, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) opens their season with Amy Ng’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Co-produced with Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Singapore staging of Miss Julie marks its premiere, before it tours to Hong Kong for the 2022 Hong Kong Arts Festival in March.
“SRT is delighted to have been invited by one of Asia’s foremost festivals, the Hong Kong Arts Festival to co-produce the only live English-language drama in HKAF 2022,” says Gaurav Kripalani, SRT’s Artistic Director. “Miss Julie’s timeless ingredients of power, race and sex continue to be a powder keg that produces gripping drama.”
For the first time since the pandemic, the production brings together a creative team and cast from Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, with the script by Hong Konger Amy Ng and direction by Singaporean Ng Choon Ping (The Truth), alongside cast members Steve Chusak, Heidi Parsons, and Sharon Mah. “Having a strong partner in HKAF gives us the ability to translate the work and tour in Chinese-speaking countries in the future,” adds Mr Kripalani.
What is most significant about this production is how it transposes the setting from Sweden to post-war Singapore, no longer a Midsummers’ celebration, but instead, Chinese New Year (timely, as the play opens in Singapore around the same period). The titular Miss Julie is now the daughter of a British tycoon, and crashes the servants’ party downstairs. What begins as a game quickly descends into a fight for survival, as the characters collide.
All of this is set against the backdrop of the disintegration of the British Empire as Asia sees a rising consciousness of nationalism. Class, race and other differences come to the fore, in this gripping new adaptation of a modern classic, challenging preconceived notions about racial supremacy, sexuality and taboo relationships.
Miss Julie plays from 25th January 2022 at the KC Arts Centre. Tickets available here