The Jamie Lloyd Company’s first production of 2016 will be the full-throttle UK premiere of a contemporary adaptation of Jean Genet’s masterpiece, The Maids – not seen in the West End for twenty years.
Director Jamie Lloyd has assembled a powerhouse trio of actors - double Emmy Award-winning Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat) and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey), to tackle this explosive psycho-drama.
In a luxurious bedroom, two maids fantasize about killing their employer, playing out dangerous and sadistic scenarios as they plan her violent death.
An intense psychological thriller seething with unique theatricality and brimming with intrigue, The Maids is a vicious analysis of the class system, and a provocative exploration of sexuality.
Simply intoxicating - The Times
Ultra-cool, kinky, brilliant - Time Out
A fabulously acted revival - Financial Times
The girls were magnificent. Perhaps a little editing as the first session particularly went on a bit too long. Editing would also make plot more powerful. Set lovely, great blossoms, lighting (tho' occasionally travelling light irritatingly in my eyes). Good to transfer it to southern states, more credible situation. Girls v. athletic, humour appreciated. Sometimes, particularly later, didn't perform to behind (I was in DD). Made me feel like real theatre, for a change -like when I saw it first (40?) years ago!
It was a very energetic piece and executed wonderfully by all members of the cast. All the performers were equally balanced and therefore complemented each other. If I had any thing negative to say it would be the length of the play without a break. It was for me to long without one.
This is a difficult play to like so will not appeal to everyone. Nevertheless if you want to be challenged there is no doubt this is an excellent cast and an interesting evening.
Stunning performances from the three actors. Such energy and conviction from all three! Superb direction. Highly imaginative, sophisticated and slick. Loved the interpretation. I would highly recommend this play.
I felt extremely sorry for the two actress. The direction was dreadful. I walked out after an hour. Wish I'd gone sooner. My companion ,who like me is a frequent theatre goer thought it was possibly the worst play she had ever seen. What a waste of £90.00.
It was an impressive piece of theatre, but not particularly likeable, or even very enjoyable. The staging was clever and attractive, but the play itself is in the end pretty insubstantial. Each of the actors did a good job, but their characters are so undeveloped that they have a difficult task. It's not really dialogue, more a relentless series of tirades. The repeated use of the "c word" came initially as a shock, but then became merely distasteful.
The language was discussing .
The worst play I have ever had to witness in a London theatre !!! It started with the news ( from the bar staff ) that Zawe Ashton wasn't performing, which was very disappointing, since she was the reason I invited my girlfriend to the show as her birthday present, then we were told there was no way of changing the tickets to another day. So we went and were witness of the most over the top acting and more or less constant shouting, in very unconvincing 'american accents'. Why did the director wanted a pantomime performance from his actresses around this time of year ??
A quite phenomenal show with fantastic performances from all 3 girls
Good acting is a bit waisted by a script that repeats itself constantly. The play has few sparcles of wit and intentensity which are used over and over. Result is that its heavy and at times annoying
Fantastic production of avery intense play! All three actresses were outstanding- particularly Laura Carmichael! And the understudy was brilliant! Congratulations!
I absolutely praise the performance from each of the actresses however the actual play's plot at times it just became quite repetitive and losing momentum.
It was a brilliant production, very intense and gripping. Uzo Aduba fulfilled her part admirably, gradually becoming stronger and fiercer as the play reached its climax. Though the play is set several decades ago, with teh advent of modern domestic slavery, it seemed peculiarly relevant. The petal strewn stage with its opening traps for props was very ingenious. The small size of the audititorium was perfect for this type of drama with only 3 participants.
Two very talented actresses (Aduba and Ashton) I have followed, and to see both in this was the icing on the cake. Fabulous to weave an entire story with minimal characters and keep and audience engaged for so long. The applause at the end was well deserved. Amazing show.
Interesting adaptation of Jean Genet´s play. Intense performances, often overcooked. Young and fresh staging. I wonder is the original text contained as many swearwords as this one?
Fantastic performances by Uzo Aduba, Zawe Ashton and Laura Carmichael in this striking production by the Jamie Lloyd Company. Zawe Ashton as Claire riveting.
Stunning staging was not enough for me. I found the play one dimensional and boring. Hatred, unmitigated by any tender feelings, is pretty tedious in my experience. Could the actresses have been directed to find some light amongst the darkness?? I don't know - I'd have to look at the script. Suffice to say, I nearly fell asleep and considered walking out, but was seated on the stage, so it was tricky.
A really impressive performance, which held my attention throughout the show, which for me highlights the talent of the cast members. A great show.
Good show ;excellent acting for a complex plot
I read reviews before going to see this but it was more powerful and intense than I had expected. The acting was incredible and gripping but it's certainly a challenge to watch. Especially as there's no interval.
First time seeing this play. The cast are awesome. There are some parts that I felt 'dragged' on a bit but all in all it was a great show. Uzo Aduba and Zawe Ashton were mesmerising!! Fantastic Show!!!
Claire acted as if she was on speed and I would have preferred her to make use of voice changes during their play acting in the beginning and to use a different tone when telling Claire for instance that they were reaching the end too fast , instead it felt like a steam train out of control from beginning to end. A slower start and gradual acceleration would have made it more interesting. Overall I enjoyed the play and the acting but somehow it felt superficial and dated. I would also have preferred it to be played by men as it was originally intended by the playright.
Intense is the only word to describe this. It's 2 hours long with no intermission and it is none stop dialogue with barely any props, but it draws you in. I felt like a voyeaur looking through someone's window. All the cast were amazing, Zawe Ashton really stole the show for me. Her energy was limitless. A real talent.
We booked The Maids before we saw any reviews which proved fortunate because they might have put us off. As it turned out, we went to the performance with no preconceptions and were blown away by the production. The acting was superb, especially 'the maids' whose performance we found searing, emotionally charged and visceral. We felt the proliferation of swear-words was entirely in keeping with the content and not in the least gratuitous. Regardless of Genet's original intention, we felt this adaptation was a tour de force in itself. We would thoroughly recommend it - but perhaps not for those who dislike swearing!
Not quite what we were expecting but brilliant none the less. We all felt exhausted for the powerful performances from the actresses after which you'll understand when you see it!
I thought the acting by Uzo Aduba and Zawe Ashton was terrific, the sound and lighting superb .... however, for me, the script was repetitive and weak. Also, it must be pointed out that, although the raking is excellent, the seats in this theatre are incredibly uncomfortable! I've noticed this before but perhaps have found the plays more gripping which has taken my mind off how uncomfortable I am! This play also has no interval which compounded the problem.
An incredibly rich emotional performance. Usually actors hold on to their technique rather than engage emotionally with their roles, not in this show. Uzo and Zawe are emotionally open and vulnerable on stage taking you to a rollercoaster of emotions from comic to tragic. One of the most moving plays I've seen for a long time. Thank you. The maids are about all of us slaving to various authorities, locked into power plays, paying for power peoples' mistakes or wimps. Contemporary and powerful.
There was no matinee performance on the 25 th February so despite the fact I bought the tickets on Amazon tickets / Ingresso online on 2nd February I was only informed at 12 noon on the 25 th February via a phone call from Ingresso that the performance was cancelled and I would be refunded. On subsequently checking direct with the theatre I was informed that there was no matinee scheduled that day and I had been sold tickets for a non-existent performance and Ingresso had therefore kept my money for over three weeks before informing me. Disgraceful !!
The cast could not have been better, it's a weird, tense, sometimes uncomfortable play but very enjoyable.
Trafalgar Studios Whitehall London SW1A 2DY
No refunds available after purchase.
Good To Know
Please note: Zawe Ashton will not be appearing on the 17th March and 18th March performances.
Uzo Aduba will not be appearing on the 25th March and 26th March performances.
Please note Zawe Ashton will not be appearing in the matinee performances on 12th, 14th, 19th & 21st May.
How Does It Work
You will receive a confirmation email with a voucher attached. Please print the voucher and bring it with you a minimum of 30 minutes before the show.
When Can I Go
20 Feb - 21 May 2016
- Tuesday - Saturday at 7.30pm
- Thursday + Saturday at 2.30pm
Where Do I Go
Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY
By bus: 3 11 12 24 53 77a 88 91 139 159 453
Closest Tube: Charing Cross and Embankment (Northern and Bakerloo)