Loosely based on the sensational real-life case of the Papin sisters, domestics who murdered then mutilated their employer in Paris in 1933, Jean Genet’s 1947 play is focussed on two housemaids, Claire and Solange, and their elaborate, sexually-charged, ritualised fantasies, performed while their mistress is out.
They can never quite make it to the grisly final scene – but tonight is different.
As the boundaries between fantasy and reality begin to blur, a lifetime of oppression and brutality comes to a head in a shocking, unexpected climax.
Directed by Carissa Licciardello, this Glitterbomb production forms part of Belvoir’s inaugural 25A season in the Downstairs Theatre.
“At its core, The Maids is a play about power, and the systems of power that keep people firmly in their places,” Licciardello explains. “From a contemporary perspective, and this particular cultural moment, it also becomes an unsettling insight into the corrosive effects of patriarchal exploitation, and an unveiling of the taboos of female anger and desire.”