reviewed by Paula Citron
Miss Julie: Sheh’mah
Written by Tara Beagan
Directed by Melee Hutton
Starring Christine Horne, Darrell Dennis and Gail Maurice
At the Theatre Centre until Nov. 29
In Miss Julie: Sheh’mah, playwright Tara Beagan has crafted a remarkable adaptation of August Strindberg’s lust-filled, 1888 ground-breaking naturalistic play. “She’mah” means “white person,” and Beagan has set the scene on a Canadian ranch in the 1920s.
Miss Julie, played by Christine Horne, a vision in peach organza, is the wealthy ranch owner’s daughter. Jonny, performed by Darrell Dennis, is her father’s aboriginal valet, while Gail Maurice is Christie Ann, the aboriginal house servant who is Jonny’s fiancée. The original play was about gender power politics and class warfare, and the colonial/aboriginal dynamic is a powerful theme.
The acting is excellent, although Dennis loses words when he speaks quickly. Director Melee Hutton has ensured that the tension is relentless, while the set and costumes by Shawn Kerwin and Teresa Przybylski respectively, are marvellous.
There is one week left of the run. Don’t miss this stunning and provocative reworking of Strindberg’s harrowing play.
Miss Julie: Sheh’mah continues at the Theatre Centre until Nov. 29.