Wednesday 17th August

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‘The Maids’ at Trafalgar Studios


By Shannon Rawlins

The Maids is an energetic, tense, self-loathing tale of revenge and desperation.  Loosely based on Christine and Lea Papin’s real-life murderous revenge on their employer, Jean Genet’s play returns to London after a twenty-year absence, revived by The Jamie Lloyd Theatre Company, paired with translation from Benedict Andrews and Andrew Upton.

The gifted cast command Genet’s play in a new direction.  Claire (Zawe Ashton, Fresh Meat, Misfits) and Solange (Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black) are the titular characters, portrayed for the first time as maids of colour, adding an interesting aspect to an already intriguing story.

The servants switch from role-play to their true selves throughout, crawling into the mistresses’ dresses, using foul language to convey their downtrodden lives to the audience.  It’s sometimes difficult to differentiate who is mimicking whom.  Having said that, this is the only fault I can pick out of the superb stage show.

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Category: Art