In Square Peg Theatre’s new production of Jean Genet’s seminal play we delve into the surreal world of Solange and Claire. Deeply resentful of their social position they plot to kill their beloved Madame, creating a fantastical world of revenge and sadomasochism that drives them to the brink of madness and murder.
Using Square Peg’s deft physical style the audience are propelled by a whirlwind of shifting perspectives to expose the paradox that we are all trapped by our freedom. A classic example of French absurdism, The Maids remains as chilling and relevant as ever.
The Maids premiered at Harrogate Theatre May 10th 2016.
The Maids is considered a classic of French literature. Written by Jean Genet in 1947 it is loosely based on the infamous sisters Christine and Léa Papin, who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933.
Genet's writings often present highly stylized depictions of ritualistic struggles between outcasts of various kinds and their oppressors. Nowhere is this more evident than in The Maids. At the play's heart is the concept of otherness. The Maids' spiraling madness is driven by the frustration of being defined by their opposite. They are poor because the Madame is rich, they are miserable because the Madame is happy in love. To make matters worse they can't even escape their own image as it is reflected back at them like a bad smell. Their desire to redifine themselves drives them to dress up and play intricate games of role-play. The absurdity of this becomes terifyingly real as they begin to lose a grasp on their idenity and fully transform into the image of their obsession.
The Maids is Square Peg Theatre's first production which was not written or devised by the company. It was an exciting, challenging and immensely rewarding experience.
Costume design by Irene Jade.
|Directed by:||Michael White|
|Set & Costume Design by:||Irene Jade|
|Sound Design by:||Owen Rafferty|
|Production Images||George Hill|
|Promotional Images by:||David Oates|
|Produced by:||Square Peg Theatre & Harrogate Theatre|
|Written by:||Jean Genet|
|Translated by:||Bernard Frechtman|