Strindberg’s Women

The Jermyn Street Theatre is known for producing lesser-known plays by acclaimed dramatists, and their latest production is an evening of two of August Strindberg’s plays: The Stronger, the only play he wrote solely for female actors, and Storm.

The Stronger (1889) is a very short piece for two actors; the fascinating thing about it is that all of the dialogue is spoken by one woman, while the other remains silent. Alice Frankham has a tough job, but she succeeds admirably in conveying all she feels in expression, body language and the occasional bout of laughter. Sara Griffiths, meanwhile, plays her acquaintance who carries on an endless stream of chatter in the tea room where the pair meet, gradually coming to an important realisation. Short as it is, it is a nuanced exploration of the relationship between the pair.

Storm (1907) is a longer one-act play in which an older man (Paul Herzberg) discovers and confronts his young ex-wife, Gerda (Sara Griffiths).Possibly inspired by Strindberg’s difficult relationship with his own ex-wife, Harriet Bosse, it is an intriguing exploration of relationships and guilt, and is well worth seeing.

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