Skip to main content

The Maids

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Anyone who opens a play with a messy dance of the seven veils set to the high pitched blare of Essential Logic’s under-the-radar post-punk classic Aerosol Burns is onto a winner from the start. This remains so even if the gender-obsessed canon of the band’s even more subversive contemporaries Ludus migt have been more appropriate to Pauline Goldsmith’s cross-dressing Glasgay production of Jean Genet’s nasty little three-hander. Transposed to a vicious Glasgow camp, its pasty-faced combatants resemble escapees from east European shaven-headed ascetics Derevo following a master-class by 1970s drag maestros Bloolips. The class warfare inherent in the piece nevertheless becomes even more pronounced in a series of fantasy power-plays where survival is not so much down to who’s fittest, but who has the glitziest outfits.

Solange and Claire aren’t just raiding Madame’s wardrobe when the play starts, but are expanding on an already elaborate murder plot through a series of increasingly histrionic role-plays. The sisters’ motives may be borne of aspirational envy, but the end result is a coup symbolic of a much bigger peasants’ revolt in what now looks like a far more outrageous pre-cursor to Harold Pinter’s screenplay for The Servant.

As Derek McCluckie’s gangling Solange and William Brennan’s dumpier Claire spar with increasing desperation, Claire at one point is seemingly possessed by the ghost of Kenneth Willliams in a knowing pop cultural nod. When Richard Pears’ Madame does show face, he/she struts on with the airs and graces of Glasgow's answer to Imelda Marcos, with last season’s glad-rags to off-load as she stands by her man no matter what. As power corrupts her successor, more fool her.

The Herald, November 8th 2010

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …