MISS JULIE is the first production on the stage of the Theatre of Nations after a long reconstruction of its premises in a magnificent antique red-brick Russian style building in the heart of Moscow.
One of the best Russian actors, Yevgeny Mironov, has been leading the theatre for a few years. With him at the head, the theatre has become one of the main Moscow newsmakers. Also the historical stage of the Theatre of Nations was opened with a spectacular performance by Thomas Ostemeier with Yevgeny Mironov and magnificent Chulpan Khamatova. The head of the Berlin SCHAUBÜHNE, known for his disposition to update the classics, ordered a Russian playwright to make a modern version of the play. In the play by Mikhail Durnenkov the scene is laid nowadays: she is the daughter of a military man, who has grown rich, he is her driver. The emotion of the performance, emphasized by the set design and the snow endlessly falling on stage, is cold and emptiness. The same is also the inner landscape of the characters, with the social gap dividing them and attracting to each other by desire of power and revenge.
Departing from Strindberg's drama, Ostermeier calls upon the respectable stalls to look at themselves from another angle and realize that in the world where dignity is measured by a bank account, there is no place left for human feelings. And this is essentially the first performance on the contemporary Russian life in the Theatre of Nations repertoire.
A new stage version of MISS JULIE has been written by an extremely trendy playwright Mikhail Durnenkov, who has moved the action to twenty-first century Russia. The events unfold in a cottage of an oligarch near Moscow, where his daughter celebrates the New Year with servants. There starts her romance with a driver, who is the fiancé of a cook working for a rich family. In connection with such an interpretation of the play, the producer Thomas Ostermeier says: there is presently such a social class in Russia as money aristocracy. It is a very isolated, closed social layer, which possesses power and lots of money. The question is what remains if people are forced to live in a world where happiness is measured according to material values".
"What I'm trying to do with classical pieces, is a Trojan horse. The audience will see a poster and think: Aha, MISS JULIE is a classical play, famous actors are engaged in it, it's an opportunity to have a great evening. But when they come to the performance, they understand that it has to do with some things related to their personal experience. The playwright (M. Durnenkov) and I had long discussions about my ideas and what was advisable for the text. It seems he understood me on the level of intuition. The result I got seems absolutely perfect to me. "
from Thomas Ostermeier's interview, Time Out