(K. Brent Tomer),
“ALL alone in the world. Nothing to lose. That’s the Lord’s blessing for the poor,” blithely remarks the mistress of the house in Jean Genet’s “The Maids” (1947)—a subversive tale of wealth, inequality and violence. Jamie Lloyd’s contemporary production shatters any illusions that class tension is a thing of the past. With daily images of food banks and stories of the sorry state of the economy, this adaptation could not be timelier. The maids, like many desperate people today, feel no consolation in their poverty—only a growing sense of injustice at their fate.
Inspired by the disturbing trial in 1933 of Christine and Léa Papin—sisters and servants who murdered and mutilated their mistress and her adult daughter—“The Maids” follows a similar pair: Solange (Uzo Aduba from Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”) and Claire (Zawe Ashton, “Fresh Meat”). Sisters, co-workers and co-conspirators, they fantasise about killing their mistress out of envy and as an act of self-determination. The drama opens with a well-rehearsed roleplay, where Claire depicts their mistress and Solange takes the part of Claire….Continue reading