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The Maids

  • HOME 2 Tony Wilson Place Manchester, England, M15 4FN United Kingdom (map)

A deadly game of ritual, role-play and rubber gloves.

Two sisters, Clare and Solange live and work as maids in a grand house in a French city. When the mistress is out, they play an obsessive game of role play in which one of the sisters dresses up in the fine clothes belonging to the mistress.

Acting out the power structures which define their lives with great theatricality, the sisters expose a complex relationship of violence, submission, tenderness and erotic tension. As the line between make believe and reality becomes increasingly distorted, it becomes clear that the aim of the game is to murder their mistress.

Jean Genet’s radical play premiered in 1947 and was inspired by a genuine case. The Papin sisters bludgeoned their employer and her daughter to death before being discovered lying naked in bed together with their bloody murder weapons at their side.

The Maids is a play of fantasies, rituals, masks and mirrors. Well ahead of its time, The Maids explodes with modern ideas about sexual and political outcasts, the inequality of society and the idea of gender as performance.

Earlier Event: November 15
With One Voice
Later Event: November 17
SexWithoutShame Ball