Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Review: The Maids at Trafalgar Studios

The Maids 
Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Monday 29th March 2016

There's no stopping Jamie Lloyd who has staged yet another unbearably intense production at Trafalgar Studios. With petals covering the stage, Jean Genet's play centres around two maids who truly have no boundaries as they fantasise about violently murdering their mistress.

The Maids is perhaps the most intimate play Lloyd has directed at Trafalgar; yet again he has brought together a stellar cast who couldn't work harder onstage. The performance of the night is given by Uzo Aduba who is an absolute force of nature. Aduba shares some powerhouse scenes with the brilliant Zawe Ashton, the two of them give everything they've got.

After quite some time Laura Carmichael makes a spectacular entrance fit for an X Factor judge. Carmichael has fun with her role as the mistress, her energy completely changes the tone. Running straight through with no interval, the show loses its steam one or twice, but overall the psychological drama is gripping. Soutra Gilmour's design is simple, but paves way for striking moments.

Once again all of Lloyd's creative team have done a stellar job. Often one doesn't consciously watch a play thinking about the lighting or sound design; however, lighting designer Jon Clark has done a tremendous job at keeping the focus throughout whilst once again Ben and Mac Ringham's compositions and sound design gives the production so much style. It's impossible not to notice their outstanding work.

Wickedly rebellious, The Maids is a very interesting play. I found the whole thing mentally exhausting to watch. The powerhouse trio give knock out performances, worth the ticket price alone.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

The Maids runs at Trafalgar Studios until Saturday 21st May 2016.
Please visit www.thejamielloydcompany.com for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

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