REVIEW: Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
If you knew Julie you would give her a slap and tell her to put a sock in it.
Miss Julie is rather like watching one of those episodes of EastEnders which is devoted to two characters with a storyline that goes over and over the same thing.
It is a simple enough tale – daughter of a count, Miss Julie (Maxine Peake) seduces her father’s valet Jean (Joe Armstrong) one hot midsummer’s eve. He’s worshipped her from afar since they were children.
Afterwards she instantly regrets their intimacy. Jean wants to run away with her and start a new life, but she has no money of her own.
It is then that the histrionics start. It is clear she has unresolved issues with her mother and the way she was brought up which has coloured her view of men.
Peake and Armstrong dominate the stage with only one other cast member Kristin (Carla Henry) apart from some party revellers – a fiddler and two singers who make a brief appearance.
In this new version by David Eldridge from the original play by August Stringberg, it has some decent lines but from a slow start the story does not progress very far.
It is only the acting talents of Peake and Armstrong which make this worth seeing.
As with all trips to the Royal Exchange it is always good to spot a few stars among the audience – Coronation Street’s Sean Tully with his mum, Eileen’s boyfriend Paul (Tony Hirst), former Corrie favourite Jamie Baldwin (Rupert Hill) and some guy from Waterloo Road ...
Call the Box Office on 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk