Actor Paul Herzberg

South African actor, Paul Herzberg, plays Strindberg

South African actor takes the lead in London play

Award-winning South African actor, Paul Herzberg, is back on the London stage in Strindberg’s Women

Actor Paul Herzberg

South African actor, Paul Herzberg, plays Strindberg

One of South Africa’s best exports, Cape Town actor and playwright Paul Herzberg, is playing the lead in Strindberg’s Women, which has just opened at Jermyn Street Theatre, London W1.

The evening includes two short plays by August Strindberg (1849-1912), The Stronger and Storm, and Herzberg plays a thinly disguised portrait of Strindberg.

I first saw a Strindberg play, his most famous one, Miss Julie, at Capab with, I think, Roger Dwyer and Lois Butlin,” says Herzberg. “Years later, this role  is definitely the biggest  challenge I have ever faced as an actor, like King Lear in one hour, with massive emotional shifts in a study of love, marriage, sexuality and the war of wills between men and women.”

Paul Herzberg and female lead at Jermyn Theatre London
Strindberg’s Women at Jermyn Theatre, London

Born in Cape Town where he studied acting at the University of Cape Town and scriptwriting at the Pretoria Teknikon, Paul Herzberg has done loads of theatre in the UK from the National Theatre and RSC, to the Almeida and Park Theatre, TV and British and American films (including Cry Freedom, My Week with Marilyn). He is also an award-winning writer and his latest (biographical) play, The Dead Wait, about a soldier on the Angolan border, won awards and has played worldwide.

The director of these Strindberg plays, Jake Murray, first saw me when he was a kid at the Royal Exchange in Manchester,” continues Herzberg. “Much later he directed me in my play The Dead Wait, then Romeo and Juliet.  I was Capulet with Andrew Garfield as Romeo and Gugu Mbatha Raw as Juliet. He is a Strindberg aficionado and has always wanted me for this role but it has taken a long time to reach fruition.”

“The producer Andy Jordan and I first worked together on Athol Fugard’s People Are Living There in the late 70s and he went on to direct The Dead Wait on BBC Radio 4 so there’s a double link to South Africa with the team on this show.”

Strindberg’s Women runs from 2 to 26  November.

Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn Street
London SW1Y 6ST

For tickets call the box Office: 020 7287 2875

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