Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Review: playing 'the maids' @ Chapter

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 20/02/2015 at 13:19
0 comments » - Tagged as Art, Dance, Music, People, Stage

  • Cast

The Llanarth Group (Wales), Gaitkrash (Ireland) & Theatre P'yut (Korea) and Jing Hong Okorn-Kuo (Singapore)
playing 'the maids'
Chapter Arts Centre
Friday 19th February 2015

The Maids by Jean Genet is a diabolical work of theatre, with a great film version to compliment this. Using the text as a starting point, here the power struggles are transfused with intercultural ideas and demonstrations by the female ensemble of performers. Along with accompanying cello played by Adrian Curtin and sound manipulations by Mick O'Shea the mood was usually focused and complex.

This apparent happening, was a shock to the system in its directness, yet also for its mighty translucency. The theme of guilt seemed to hover over the proceedings like a massive guillotine, ready to fall at random intervals. I'm so glad I took part in The Exception and the Rule with Karen Mirza and Brad Butler last year (part of Artes Mundi). It allowed be to better understand the techniques of Alexander Boal, his Theatre of the Oppressed. So here, I was able to decipher aspects of the experience, the women of the show conveying greats representations of power, or lack of.

In a blistering moment, one of the Korean performers sat and expressed (in her native language) the demands women must face in a culture of split perspectives. With tears forming in her eyes, you really felt this to be of the utmost truth, as one of the Irish actresses then translated it into English for us. Another striking moment when Jing Hong Okorn-Kuo as the Madam, had to resist and confront flailing left hand movements, as if her sub conscience was intending to come out.

The ending with a puppet looking like a cross between a geisha and Shaye Saint John was touching and profound. As the ladies move the puppet, as it asks the repeated question of "Why do you look at me as if I'm moving?". The response is "it's because I am being pushed" with the puppet pacing in the air as the women circle till lights dim. A memorable and moving moment.

A heady mix of Genet, Boal, John Cage, Korean, Irish, Maria Callas and even Karaoke.

Rating: 8/10

playing 'the maids' continues at Chapter Arts Centre until Saturday 28th February, with a performance at Theatr Brycheiniog on Thursday 26th February. Also at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Friday 6th March.

Articles // Filter Articles // Reviews

Articles // Categories // Music

Info // Sport & Leisure // Performing Arts // Music

Events // February 2015's Sprout Editorial Group Meeting

*Submit your stuff for publication here*

Want to win a Sprout T-shirt? Fill in theSprout Satisfaction Survey!

Photo Credit: Ger Fitzgibbon/Kaite O'Reilly

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.