The Maids Sweep City Hall
RUTH LEVIN’S PRODUCTION OF ‘THE MAIDS’ HITS CENTRE STAGE AND KICK STARTS THE REVIVAL OF CAPE TOWN CITY HALL
CAPE TOWN, JANUARY 2011 – Director Ruth Levin and Producer Tammy-Anne Fortuin introduce the eagerly awaited production of ‘The Maids’, presented by an arrangement with Rosica Colin Ltd. & Dalro, which will leap onto centre stage at Cape Town City Hall from 31 January - 23 February 2011.
Written in 1947 by a literary genius and a criminal, Jean Genet, this is a thought-provoking, timeless thriller and a striking portrayal of how as individuals and indeed a society, we view our lives in terms of what we do rather than who we are.
“I fell in love with ‘The Maids’ first for its writing, which is extraordinary, and then for its depiction of a delicate theme that sits close to my heart: self-value,” comments Ruth Levin, Director.
Inspired by a true incident in Paris, the script takes a look into the desperate relationships of two sisters and their Madame. With their skewered self-perceptions they see no way out of their current way of living - so much so that they begin to play with the fantasy of murder.
“On the surface the story unfolds as two sisters’ play out the relationship with their Madame, taking turns to dress up in her clothing. As we travel deeper into the play one sees what happens when people, for too long, are locked into a situation which is not good for them,” comments Levin.
With only 18 scheduled performances by an all South African, all female cast, this play stars award winning actresses Denise Newman and Susan Danford, and introduces the talented newcomer Tamryn Spiers.
In a much celebrated return to the theatre, Newman takes the lead role of ‘Solange’ - a character unlike any other she has played in her career. Newman is a treasured actress of South Africa and winner of ‘Best Actress’ at the Dubai Film Festival - well known for her unforgettable performances in ‘Onder Engele’, ‘Disgrace’ and ‘Forgiveness’. Commenting on her decision to embark on this project Newman said, “It was an easy one, the stage is my first love and passion.”
Susan Danford - Fleur Du Cap winner of the Best Actress award for Harold Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’, dazzles in the role of ‘The Madame’ with her presence and detailed craft, while Tamryn Spiers embodies the character of ‘Claire’, Solange’s little sister, with a lasting impression.
And to complete this gifted team, Tammy-Anne Fortuin, known to us as the presenter and producer of All Access, brings to the theatre a much needed and talented hand and eye.
The stage for this remarkable play is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Cape Town City Hall will be brought to life once more as it acts as an integral element to the production of this performance. Levin comments, “Our vision is that this play will serve as the beginning of the revival of City Hall as a creative hub and heritage site that should be attractive and accessible to the general public.”
‘The Maids’ are proud to donate 10% of all profits to the Dahlia Care Centre - a secure and prejudice free environment to aid and protect those in need. “The aim is not only to make a financial contribution towards the extension of this centre but also the implementation of a professional acting mentorship programme,” comments Fortuin. Newman and Spiers will conduct a 5 week acting mentorship program with a revised student curriculum, graciously sponsored by ACT CAPE TOWN, to aspiring young actors from Dahlia.