Rosalie Craig and Shaun Evans are to lead the cast of Miss Julie and Black Comedy at Chichester, a new production of an acclaimed double bill which celebrates a key moment in this Theatre’s history, and its long association with playwright Peter Shaffer.
Black Comedy is an exhilarating farce, which follows impoverished artist Brindsley Miller as he tries to plan the biggest night of his career at his flat, aided and abetted by his fiancée and her father, and other assorted visitors. When the flat is plunged into darkness, events take gloriously unexpected turns.
Peter Shaffer’s work is a major thread running through Festival 2014. His association with Chichester dates back to 1964 when The Royal Hunt of the Sun was commissioned by Laurence Olivier, the Theatre’s first Artistic Director. This was followed by Black Comedy which was commissioned by legendary dramaturg Kenneth Tynan. Miss Julie and Black Comedy first premiered at Chichester Festival Theatre in 1965 starring Maggie Smith and Albert Finney.
In addition to Black Comedy, Festival 2014 will feature a major new production of Amadeus and rehearsed readings of Shaffer plays, while actors, directors and speakers from the arts will share their experiences of working alongside one of Britain’s greatest and most innovative living writers.
Rebecca Lenkiewicz has written a new version of Miss Julie – the powerful exploration of sex, class and power by August Strindberg. The play is set during the tumultuous hours following a Midsummer Night’s Eve ball. Miss Julie and her father’s handsome valet Jean play provocative and dangerous status games in this masterful exploration of sex, class and power.
Winner of the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, Lenkiewicz’s credits include Her Naked Skin and The Night Season – both staged by the National Theatre.
Rosalie Craig plays the title role in Miss Julie and Clea in Black Comedy. Credits include The Light Princess at the National Theatre, for which she won an Evening Standard Award.
Shaun Evans plays Jean in Miss Julie and Harold Gorringe in Black Comedy. Credits include his role as the young Inspector Morse in ITV’s Endeavour, the West End production of Kurt and Sid and the UK tour of Blue/Orange. Other screen credits include Wreckers, Silk, The Last Weekend and Teachers.
Miss Julie / Black Comedy is at the Minerva Theatre from July the 4th through to the 9th of August. Evenings 7.45pm (except for the Press Night, Thursday 10 July, 7.00pm), matinees 2.45pm. Tickets: Previews/Press Night: £18, £22, All other performances £24, £33. To book, go to cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.
Other events include director Jamie Glover in conversation with author and broadcaster Kate Mosse for a pre-show discussion on Friday 11th July at 6pm. Tickets are free, but advance booking is essential via the Box Office and there will be the chance to meet some of the Miss Julie / Black Comedy company at a post-show discussion on Tuesday August 5th.