Arriving into the theatre, there was a sense that something was different at HOME.
The usual layout had been replaced with round staging and three men stood with tights obscuring their faces greeted you upon arrival. After a playful introduction, the lights dimmed and Lily Sykes’ interpretation of Jean Genet’s, The Maids began to play out.
The first thing to acknowledge is that the three female characters are performed by men, allowing the interpretation to mirror elements of Genet’s personality and experiences, building an insightful take on the original material.
Sisters, Claire and Solange, embark on a dangerous game of role play, taking it in turns to impersonate their beloved and despised Mistress. Brilliantly executed by Jake Fairbrother (Claire), and Luke Mullins (Solange), the tension was carefully crafted, each scene ramping up the sense of unease and confusion.
However, the star of the show was clearly Danny Lee Wynter, who, as Mistress, delivered every line, gesture and expression with intoxicating glee. An actor born to perform, Wynter demanded attention and he deserves every last bit of the praise he has received for this performance.
From the staging to the, at times, jarring lighting and sound changes, the whole performance feels almost dreamlike. A house of mirrors, ready to shatter at any second. Details like the live streaming camera, to brilliant set design, makes The Maids one of 2018’s most dazzling performances of the year.