Bongile Mantsai, Hilda Cronje

Mies Julie was the unqualified favourite of the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe at its 2012 international premiere. Since then, Mies Julie has become an international sensation and one of the most sought-after touring productions in the world. Mies Julie’s Canadian premiere at The Cultch is one of the highlights of an April filled with South African events, including the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid.

Internationally-acclaimed director Yael Farber sets her explosive new adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie in the remote, bleak beauty of South Africa. In the sweltering heat of a Cape Karoo kitchen, a deadly battle unfolds over power, sexuality, memory, mothers, and land. This newly menacing, passionate, and relevant allegory for a post-apartheid state in transition was named one of 2012’s Top Five productions by The Guardian, UK and the Top 10 of 2012 by The New York Times.

The talented South African cast includes Fleur Du Cap award-winner Bongile Mantsai as John, South African television veteran Thokozile Ntshinga playing Christine, and Hilda Cronje as Julie. They are joined by on stage musician and singer Thandiwe Nofirst Lungisa from the Ngoko Cultural Group. This collaboration creates an evocative soundtrack of Xhosa music performed with traditional regional instruments, overlaid by a sinister soundscape created by Daniel and Matthew Pencer.

Bongile Mantsai, Hilda Cronje
[Bongile Mantsai, Hilda Cronje]

Yael Farber is internationally admired for her socio-politically hard-hitting works, often updating classic texts and has worked extensively at the renowned Market Theatre in Johannesburg, including an acclaimed production of Shopping and Fucking which scooped a total of seven prestigious National Vita Awards, including one of her three Best Director awards.

Her international resume includes Amajuba, Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye, and her own award-winning play, Woman in Waiting, winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and a Gold Sony Award for Radio Drama for the BBC recording of the piece. Farber is currently Head of the Directing Programme at the National Theatre School in Montreal, Canada.

Following Baxter Theatre Centre’s Canadian premiere of Mies Julie at The Cultch, the production will have runs at Montreal’s Place Des Arts (April 21 to May 3) and at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre (May 5 to 10).

Baxter Theatre Centre Presents Mies Julie

Dates: March 25 to April 19
Venue: Historic Theatre at The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $31, available online or via phoning 604.251.1363
Note: Talk-balk Q&A sessions with the artists on March 26, April 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16

Photos by Murdo MacLeod.

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