I felt instantly at ease upon entering the Woolangabba Art Gallery for the closing night of The Maids, as part of The Anywhere Festival.
The instant rush of comfort stemmed from the sweet welcome, Stephen Nothling’s magical art, and the structural historical nuances of the building.
I had recollections of my elaborate catholic all girls’ boarding school as I walked up the stairs to the garret of the Woolangabba Art Gallery.
The character, Claire (Amy Hauser), of The Maids was walking, humming and ahhing while waiting for the audience to settle in.
On time, Solange (Re’anne Duffy) entered dressed as a maid and the corresponding scenes covered Claire as the Madam and Solange as the maid.
These scenes were alive, real and compelling and erupted to a crescendo, as the elaborate ‘red dress’ was unveiled.
The maids, Claire and Solange were on a path to destroy their ever-elegant Madame (played by Caitlin Hill) while destructing themselves.
Madame swaggered into the room, styled in a gorgeous sequined hounds tooth gown, and immediately sets forth her opinions, lack of empathy and hellish truth upon the fragile maids.
The Maids was directed and constructed to use every tiny bit of space of the upstairs of the Woolangabba Art Gallery with minimal props and appealing over the top creations of wardrobe by Harpi designs.
The actor’s portrayed their characters in realistic and captivating real time.
Spittle, tears, sweat and laughs were authentic and harrowing.
Genet’s The Maids is very much a parable for today with its brutal conflict played out between the haves and have-nots, and it challenges the audience to think about the possibility of change.