Mademoiselle Julie at the Barbican

Untouched by time: Juliette Binoche stars in the Barbican's production of Mademoiselle Julie

I was a spoilt lady last week, two trips to the theatre! The wonderful Three Sisters at the Young Vic and the Mademoiselle Julie. A French reworking and contemporary version of one of my all time favourite classics Strindberg's Miss Julie.

Strindberg's play is an intense exploration of human nature, passion, lust and inappropriate relationships that can ultimately destroy. However this particular adaptation does not quite live up to the original I'm afraid. The play was first performed at the celebrated Avignon Festival last year, revived in Paris and now at the Barbican for a week. It stars the world famous scree actress Juliette Binoche, in her first theatre performance for over ten years. She is one of my favourite actresses since seeing her in The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Les Amants Du Pont Neuf, she goes from strength to strength with an incredible ability to avoid any signs of ageing.

Seeing her in the flesh, fragile yet a powerful presence in a gold shimmering dress was the best thing about this show. It feels too contrived, over designed, over acted and over directed. The actors were powerless against the design of the show, the lighting is too dim then too bright, the enclosed set obliging the actors to wear microphones, they seem to be engulfed by its starkness.

The show opens with a raucous party scene with dozens of actors occupying the back section of the stage behind glass panels, with the exquisite Juliette Binoche at its heart. Her consequent seduction of her father's valet Jean played by Nicolas Bouchaud somehow doesn't ring true. Nicolas, despite his efforts, should not have been cast as Jean. Too old, with little charm and not attractive enough, one cannot understand why Mademoiselle Julie could ever fall for him. And someone please explain stage posture to Nicolas, it was infuriating. I had to restrain myself from jumping up on stage to straighten him up and unhunch his shoulders.

Their relationship was simply unconvincing, cold and unsympathetic. It was a shame as it had potential to have been so good, had the priority been the play and the actors rather than the design. Classic case of style over content, and at £65 per ticket I would recommend you spending your money elsewhere.