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The Maids

Citizens Theatre


Award-winning director and designer Stewart Laing brings his unique aesthetic style to this new interpretation of Jean Genet’s notorious play, in a new translation by Martin Crimp. This enduring masterpiece simultaneously explores the illusion of theatre and the psychology of retribution. Watch trailer

Two maids and their mistress: three women locked into a repetitive and abusive cycle of domination and submission.

While the mistress is out of the apartment, Claire and Solange raid her wardrobe and indulge in secret, ritualistic role-play; acting out the scenes of daily domestic arrogance with which she has earned their hatred.  As their obsessive power games spiral out of control, fantasy and reality become blurred, with lethal consequences.

Loosely based on the true story of the Papin sisters who shocked French society in the 1930s when they brutally murdered their mistress and her daughter.

True to Genet’s original anarchic vision, the three women will be played by young men.

Thu 24 January
With director Stewart Laing

See Schools News Blog for MEET THE DIRECTOR schools’ workshop.

Two maids and their mistress locked in an obsessive cycle of power games.

Main Theatre

View seating plan

    User Rating

    Rated: (3/5), based on 6 ratings

Previews 17-18 Jan
Audio Described 24 Jan
Signed 31 Jan
Wheelchair Access
Guide Dogs welcome
Induction Loop


Strongly recommended for 16+
Adult themes, nudity & scenes of a sexual nature.


The Maids Programme.pdf

Cast and Creative Team >

Written by Jean Genet
A translation by Martin Crimp
Directed and Designed by Stewart Laing
Lighting Design by Stuart Jenkins
Guitar Coach - Scott Paterson
Assistant Director - Debbie Hannan


Samuel Keefe - The Mistress
Ross Mann - Claire
Scott Reid - Solange


“Notions of reality and artifice are pushed to the limit in a pop-art hybrid that is part-gig, part-multi-media happening, part-installation. It’s relentlessly and radically sustained, right down to the final, wonderfully unexpected musical interlude”
The Herald

“if you are going to honour Genet’s passion for deconstruction – for challenging the conventional assumptions behind any relationship, event or art-form – then you might as well go the whole hog; and offer audiences an evening that will take their ideas about theatre and performance, and turn them inside-out and upside-down, perhaps for ever.”
The Scotsman

“disarming, sometimes sexy, sometimes grotesque and often very funny”
The List

“Leave your pre-conceptions at the door and get a ticket for the roller-coaster ride.”
The Public Reviews

“a big, bold, dreamlike, ambitious production in keeping with the Citz’ newly discovered confidence under the helm of artistic director Dominic Hill, but not one for the faint-hearted.”

“Laing takes Genet’s play and drop kicks it into an imaginative, evocative new realm which further deconstructs the text into a variety performance of music, interview, rehearsed readings and continually unexpected interludes.”
A Younger Theatre


Read audience tweets and more on Storify


Seb T

31st January 2013

Mindblowing piece of theatre. Genet's play really shone through (to someone who knew nothing about it), thanks to three fantastic actors. A slightly faltering start in the first scene was quickly forgotten as the actors got an intense energy going. Unfortunately, for me, this energy was then left to fall flat by a long guitar interlude: far too long to work as the punctuation mark the scene demanded, but not interesting enough to stand on its own. I was impatient to see these actors get on with what they do best; and once I "edited out" the interlude, I wasn't disappointed. I don't feel the director's appearance added anything either - and the performance (by just 3 actors!) was so strong that it didn't need anything added. But some of the other ideas (the presence/not-really-presence of a mysterious third person, the Mistress dressing, the bathroom, one scene performed as a read-through) were utterly inspired. Highly recommended! I was happy to let the things I didn't like pass me by and enjoy a riveting performance of a play with lines that left me breathless. Still can't stop thinking about it.


25th January 2013

Misogynistic, boring, self important, condescending rubbish which treats the audience as if they'd never seen a modern piece of theatre before and were to be lulled into enjoying it because it was something different. The Mistress saved it for the unfortunately brief time he was on stage.

Miss NZ

21st January 2013

So many amazing things about The Maids to make just a 'comment' is hard. Every citizen should see this play, as this is theatre, but not as you know it. It sends your expectations & perceptions into free-fall at every turn. See this and the revolution is a coming! With a play like this, the citizens most definitely rules the world.

A Mac

20th January 2013

Gratuitous and tedious nudity lending absolutely nothing to the production. The only saving feature of this lengthy, gruelling, boring ordeal was the guitar instrumentals which, actually, were quite enjoyable. Total rubbish!

Mr Ward

20th January 2013

Stuart Laing's production is a complete triumph. It works on so many levels, plays with both classical and modern theatrical conventions to arrive at a totally unique, challenging and engaging reading. This is theatre at its very best, entertaining, challenging and full of suprises. I would urge anyone to see this production as, even though the subject matter might not be their cup of tea, the skill, art and style evident is the thing that could make this a seminal moment for both Stuart, Dominic and all the team at The Citz. Brave programming, brave directing and again a truly international theatre moment taking place in The Gorbals.

m watters

19th January 2013

Inspirational and witty direction and strong performances from a young, energetic cast. A thought provoking production. We loved it!

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