We’re thrilled that the renowned international director Lily Sykes brings The Maids to HOME Manchester. Earlier this year Sykes presented an incredibly successful production of Dennis Kelly’s Girls and Boys at the Berliner Ensemble.
Exploring the complex relationship between servant and employer, The Maids is a new take on Jean Genet’s radical, subversive and playful modern classic.
The boundary between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly blurred and distorted
Clare and Solange are two sisters who live and work in a grand house in a French city. Whenever their unnamed mistress leaves the house, the two sisters play an obsessive game of role play in which one of the sisters dresses up in the fine clothes belonging to their mistress. Acting out the power structures which determine their identities with great theatricality, the sisters reveal a complex relationship of violence, submission, tenderness and erotic tension. With every departure of their mistress and with each game of role play, the boundary between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly blurred and distorted. Soon it becomes clear that the aim of the game is to murder their mistress.
Inspired by the real-life case of Christine and Léa Papin, Genet’s radical play is a gothic horror story exploring power and desire. The play first premiered in Paris in 1947 following the genuine case of the Papin sisters who, in 1933 bludgeoned their employer and her daughter to death before they were discovered lying calmly naked in bed together with their bloody murder weapons at their side.
Written well ahead of its time, The Maids pivots around the notion of gender as performance and explodes contemporary discussion around sexual and political outcasts and the inequality of society.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.