The cast for "THE MAIDS", which previews from 19th June 97 at the Donmar Warehouse (BO 0171 369 1732) include: NIAMH CUSACK, recently in "As You Like It" and "The Learned Ladies" for the RSC at the Barbican. JOSETTE SIMON, who also recently starred at the Barbican in "The White devil". Also in the cast is KERRY FOX. "The Maids" by Jean Genet in a translation by David Rudkin is directed by John Crowley. The play features the blend of lyricism, religious and sexual themes that became the writers trademark. Every night Claire and Solange act out an obsessive fantasy of murdering their mistress. This is the only escape the sisters have from the daily humiliation of serving 'Our Lady'. Then one day fantasy takes over reality.
This play then goes to the Richmond Theatre for 9-13 September (BO 0181 940 0088).
From London Theatre News - Issues #69 and 70:
Written by Jean Genet in a translation by David Rudkin, The Maids is one of those plays that is quite dull, and dreary, but has some strong acting that just stops the play from being a total waste of time.
The story concerns two sisters, Claire and Solange, maids who fantasise and act out the intended murder of their mistress. However, their attempts to act out their fantasy becomes dangerously out of control.
The play is without doubt a psychological one, but the problem is, we never get to know why the maids actually wish to murder their mistress. I mean, the mistress does not come across as a particularly cruel person.
The subject matter has the potential to make a great and interesting play, but this never materialises. The writing is not inventive enough and lacks any kind of suspense.
The acting though is superb by all, particularly Kerry Fox as Solange who plays the most disturbed sister. She could change from being naive to being quite ruthless very effectively. Niamh Cusack is also competent in her role as the weaker of the two maids. Josette Simon is just as convincing and at times quite comical as Our Lady, the Mistress.
In all, a play that Im sure many will be disappointed with, but at least there is some fine acting to be admired.
Back to Other Roles of Josette Simon
Back to Who's Who Index
Back to Blakes 7 Index
Last updated on 17th of July 1999.