Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes without interval
“An extraordinary example of the continuous exchange between being and appearing, between imagination and reality”. With these words, Jean-Paul Sartre described The Maids (Les Bonnes) by Jean Genet, one of his most famous works. Written in 1947 and inspired by an event which had enormous impact on public opinion in France, the work is considered one of the playwright’s masterpieces, a perfect theatrical work in which the device of theatre within theatre is revealed in order to expose, in an extraordinary manner, the lie that is the stage, with a structure that digs deep.
It is the story of two sisters, Claire and Solange, maids of a disturbing aspect played by Anna Bonaiuto and Manuela Mandracchia, who have a love-hate relationship with their employer, the beautiful and elegant Madame (Vanessa Gravina). Every evening, in the absence of their mistress, they play out an obsessive fantasy in which they take turns to “be Madame”, wearing her dresses. It is a ritual which ends every time with the murder of their mistress, until fiction and reality begin to become dangerously intertwined in the minds of the two women.
“We have attempted to stage The Maids in the form of a dark tale”, explains the director Giovanni Anfuso. “It is a story which becomes a cursed and unbearable ritual, just like everything which seeks to unveil the profound violence which exists within us and which determined our culture, our psychology, our existence. It is a ceremony, as is often repeated in the text: it celebrates addiction, hate, jealousy, the sensuality of violence and the interchangeability of roles. It is a dark ritual, a sensual invocation of power, a physical, moral and social denudation.
Piccolo Teatro Grassi
from 3 to 15 October 2017
by Jean Genet
translation Gioia Costa
directed by Giovanni Anfuso
with Anna Bonaiuto, Manuela Mandracchia, Vanessa Gravina
sets Alessandro Chiti
costumes Lucia Mariani
music Paolo Daniele
a Teatro e società production
in co-production with Teatro Stabile Biondo di Palermo