Director looking forward to bringing show to North Shields

A theatre director is following in his famous father’s footsteps by bringing the classic play Miss Julie to North Tyneside.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 18 March, 2019, 09:39
Braham and Jake Murray.

Jake Murray grew up in a theatrical household with director father Braham Murray, who received an OBE for his work in 2010, and theatre designer mother Johanna Bryant.

In 1995 he watched Braham’s take on Miss Julie and vowed to stage his own version one day.

Jake has now adapted the historic play, written by August Strindberg in Sweden in 1888, to set it in the north east of England, and it will be performed at The Exchange, North Shields, from March 28 to 30.

Jake said: “Having a theatre director dad and a theatre designer mum, I grew up with talks about playwrights and productions at the dinner table when most people would be discussing TV soaps.

“I was reading Strindberg’s plays when I was a teenager and fell in love with them. The man who translated his plays into English, Michael Meyer, was a friend of the family, and he became a mentor to me.

“I want to show my enthusiasm for Strindberg. Miss Julie is one of the most transformative plays of all time, all working-class drama has a debt to the play. Miss Julie was the first play to have working class characters taken seriously.”

The production will be particularly poignant for Jake as Braham died just last year, aged 75.

He added: “I think my father would be delighted that I was doing this. There was always a mix of pride and competition whenever we did the same play.

“When I watched my father’s version it looked too pretty, it just wasn’t gritty enough. It didn’t get close to the sexiness of how Strindberg wanted it to be. The chemistry between the lead roles just wasn’t there.

“The actors who are playing Miss Julie and John in my production have known each other for years and the chemistry between them is amazing.”

To buy tickets for the production, visit www.elysiumtc.co.uk

Karen Knox, artistic director at The Exchange, said: “It is wonderful that The Exchange is attracting theatre companies from outside of North Tyneside, and Elysium has a reputation for producing great theatre.

“We can’t wait to see what the company has in store for us with Miss Julie, and are looking forward to hopefully hosting more of its productions here in future.”

For more information on Elysium and its productions, you can find it on social media at @ElysiumTC