Shaffer and Strindberg double-bill at Chichester Festival Theatre

Shaun Evans

Rosalie Craig and Shaun Evans lead the cast of Miss Julie / Black Comedy at Chichester Festival Theatre, a new production of a double bill which celebrates a key moment in the 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, her father and an assortment of visitors.

When the flat is plunged into darkness, events take an unexpected turn.

Peter Shaffer’s work is a major thread running through Chichester’s Festival 2014.

His association 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 appeared at Chichester Festival Theatre in 1965 starring Maggie Smith and Albert Finney.

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 a masterful exploration of sex, class and power.

Also appearing in the double bill are Robyn Addison, Jonathan Coy, Samuel Dutton, Mike Grady, Emma Handy, Paul Ready and Marcia Warren.

Jamie Glover makes his directorial debut at Chichester, having featured in Festival 2013’s If Only.

Miss Julie / Black Comedy is at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, 4 July – 9 August.

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