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A battle of the sexes on stage

Get ready to watch the battle of the sexes and classes on stage as part of the ongoing Strindberg Weekend. The weekend has been organised by the Swedish Embassy and Katyayani Theatre group to mark the death centenary of the renowned Swedish playwright — Johan August Strindberg.

art and culture Updated: Mar 23, 2012 01:56 IST
Chetna Dua

Get ready to watch the battle of the sexes and classes on stage as part of the ongoing Strindberg Weekend. The weekend has been organised by the Swedish Embassy and Katyayani Theatre group to mark the death centenary of the renowned Swedish playwright — Johan August Strindberg.

Theatre director Sohaila Kapur, who directed her first play, Miss Julie, in 1994, is staging it in the city after 18 years. “I have always loved the play Miss Julie since college. For someone like August Strindgerg who thought women were nags, not very bright and highly manipulative, the sensitive sketch of a headstrong woman ready to shed her high class status for love in Miss Julie, enthralled me,” says Kapur.

Though set in 19th century Sweden, the play represents 21st century India quite closely. Set on a mid-summer night eve, the play is essentially a love story between a 25-year-old countess Julie and Jean, her father’s valet. The two are attracted to each other and end up having a one-night stand. Since both come from different backgrounds and view love differently, a battle of sexes ensues between the two. “Julie is a free-spirited woman who likes to mingle with common people.

She is a confident, young and powerful woman who is vulnerable in love, much like today’s girls,” says actor Vidushi Mehra, whole plays the count’s daughter.

The play has also been a topic of discussion among directors and actors on filmmaker Shekhar Kapur’s blog. “Miss Julie is a tragic story of a woman born of aristocracy looking for love and acceptance. She often resented the impositions of the constricting moral and ethical code of the aristocracy. In that sense, it is a play that is relevant to all times,” says Kapur.

“I think it’s a very simple and well written play about women’s rights, which gives the message that they are not less than men in any field,” says Tarique Hasan, an actor in the play.

Watch it here
What: Miss Julie, a play by Katyayani Theatre Group
When: March 23, 7.30pm, at Epicentre, Apparel House, Gurgaon;
March 24, 7pm at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
Entry Tickets: Rs 100 - Rs 350 at the venue