No standing ovation for Sienna miller on Broadway debut

Actress Sienna Miller made her Broadway debut last night, in Patrick Marber's steamy play 'After Miss Julie'.

Her performance was praised by theatregoers but at the play's end there was no standing ovation for her or co-star Jonny Lee Miller, who was also making his Broadway debut.

Sienna Miller, 27, plays flighty aristocrat Miss Julie in the play, which moves the plot and characters of August Strindberg's Miss Julie from 19th century Norway to London in 1945.

Fellow British actor Jonny Lee Miller, 36, plays John, the chauffeur of Miss Julie's father.

The play, which deals with themes of morality, sex and class, is set on the night the Labour Party triumphed over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party, and sees Miss Julie and John embroiled in a passionate power struggle.

The audience are spared an explicit scene, however, as apart from a flash of Miss Julie's stockings and suspenders as she lies upon a butcher's block, the encounter between them occurs off-stage.

Referring to New York, Jonny raised a laugh from the audience with his character's line "They love us there, they die for the accent".

Overall, the performance was well received by theatregoers. Michael Allan said: "It was very interesting seeing Strindberg's work advanced 100 years. Sienna did a really wonderful job, she was very, very honest and created a really deep character."

Kelley L Smith said: "It was an honest piece and it was incredible to see Sienna take this step, especially at a premiere, it was unexpected."

Gloria Fried said: "Her performance had a great deal of range and the characterisation was very, very powerful. I didn't have any expectations whatsoever so I was pleasantly surprised."

But another member of the audience, who did not want to be named, compared Sienna's performance to that of her ex-fiancé Jude Law, who is also treading the boards in Broadway with his interpretation of Hamlet.

"Sienna was good but in all honesty I preferred Hamlet, and Jude Law got a standing ovation on the night I saw it," she said.

Sienna, who was born in New York, has said previously that acting on Broadway was an ambition of hers.

"If you want to be an actress you think about opening on Broadway," she said.

The play, which opens officially on October 22, is on at the American Airlines Theatre on 42nd Street. It runs until December 6.

The theatre is part of the Roundabout Theatre Company, whose leadership council includes Dame Helen Mirren, Frank Langella, Liam Neeson and the late Natasha Richardson (in memoriam).

The play also stars Marin Ireland, as John's fiancé Christine.

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