Maids of dishonour

first_imgThe Maidsdir Yashar Alishenas25 – 29 OctoberBurton TaylorSex sells but playwright Jean Genet believes that lesbian sex sells even better. Loosely based on the 1933 real-life story of the Papin sisters who murdered their female employers, The Maids is otherwise entirely fictionalised and Genet formulates a tale of a dominating mistress and two French maids, who are not only sisters, but also lesbians.Theatrical criticism has bracketed the notorious Genet within the absurdist school of theatre, yet such a vague categorisation falls short of encapsulating the biting intensity of this unique playwright, novelist, thief and rentboy. The Maids is among his best-known theatrical works in which the sisters, Claire (Helen Winston) and Solange (Serena Martin) work as housemaids to their impossibly ‘beautiful and good, mistress (Jamie Gaw). However, these adult sisters remain stuck in their childhood and, devoid of any male contact in the cell-like confines of their domestic workplace, games of Doctors and Nurses have become replaced by pseudo-erotic renditions of Mistress and Maid.The play opens into just such a scene of sisterly role-play, with Claire dressing up in her mistress’ clothes while Solange acts the part of downtrodden maid. The scene is initially bewildering to the audience, but director Yashar Alishenas soon clarifies the women’s situation, cautiously revealingtheir precarious relationship which hovers uncomfortably between sisterly affection and fantasised eroticism. The vicious playfulness between Claire and Solange is recognisably that of siblings, yet the power of these play-acting scenes is never quite recreated in those that jump back to reality,and the ‘real’ passionate outbursts seem flat in comparison. This is a challenging piece for any actress, but for young students performing in 21st century Oxford, the task is that much more overwhelming. Yet Winston apparently tackles her role with ease, turning in a performanceof wild femininity and brutal sensuality, utterly compelling from the outset. Martin reacts well as the submissive relation, creating a foil for Winston’s haughty authority, while Gaw truly lives up to the hype of the beautiful lady of the house. Winston and Martin have an obvious rapport,and while scenes with all three characters can lack the depth of these dualogues, Winston’s commanding presence onstage regularly buoys any lacklustre moments.The actresses are choreographed well within the thrust-staging space and there are some other nice directional touches, such as the repeated motif of Claire turning away from the audience, only to have her image reflected back at them by a dressing table mirror. Yet despite such inventive attention to detail, there is an underlying feeling that the audience has somehow been duped. Perhaps this was all part of Genet’s idea, where the boundaries between ‘play’ and reality are blurred to the point of utter mystification, but he cheats his audienceby throwing up innumerable questions without ever pointing to where the answers can be found. The real-life mystery of why the Papin sisters killed their employers was never solved and likewise, the motivation behind Claire and Solange’s desire to murder their mistress is never fully explored. Therefore, their anger seems disappointingly hollow and unfounded.Undeniably, this play would have had a greater resonance with a contemporaryaudience, but quite apart from these contextual difficulties, the complex storyline never quite shrugs off its associations with male fantasy, centring on a pair of scissors-sisters locked in a world of domestic ritual and compliance. The Maids was cutting-edge drama in its time but it now stands as a glorious period piece and Alishenas has admirably resurrected this intriguing play with a tight and uplifting production.ARCHIVE: 2nd week MT 2005last_img read more

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Homes of all sizes up for auction in Brisbane

first_imgThe home at 88 Bellevue Tce, Clayfield.There are also three bedrooms with built-in robes and a family bathroom. On the lower level there is an open-plan kitchen and dining room, living area, three bedrooms laundry and bathroom. The dining room, living area and one of the bedrooms all open to the lower decks. Outside there is a tropical swimming pool and a secure workshop. The property will go to auction at 3pm on Saturday, November 25.Tucked away on a big block on a quiet street in Woolloongabba, a century-old Queenslander at 27 Lockhart St will also be up for grabs on Saturday. Inside 27 Lockhart St, Woolloongabba.The kitchen has french doors opening to the deck, white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and the original brick fireplace, while on the opposite side of the wall there is an ornate fireplace in the dining room. The master bedroom has built-in robes and an ensuite, and there are three more bedroom plus a study, family bathroom and laundry. The home at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron.“This architecturally designed modern home has been built to perfection by incorporating the core fundamentals of a truly functional family home,” Mr Jabs said. The home has a fresh, light colour scheme, timber floors and big windows allowing plenty of natural light to stream in.On the ground floor, the home has an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area opening through stacker doors to the entertaining area, with outdoor kitchen, lawn and in-ground pool. The home at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron.FAMILIES of all sizes will have plenty to choose from at Brisbane auctions this weekend, with everything from renovated character homes to sprawling modern houses going under the hammer. In Kedron a new home with a traditional design is going to auction at 11am on Saturday, November 25. Marketing agents Matthew Jabs and Ross Armstrong, of Place Newmarket, described the five-bedroom property at 59 Thirteenth Ave as being beautifully finished with contemporary charm and classic appeal. The home at 88 Bellevue Tce, Clayfield.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus23 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market23 hours agoRay White Clayfield marketing agent, Tony Cicchiello said the dual living home on an 809sq m block was ideally suited to an extended family.The home has beautiful character features, including timber floors and ornate fretwork, and a bright, white colours scheme throughout. Upstairs, there is a beautiful wraparound veranda, a stone fireplace separating the dining and living rooms, and an open-plan kitchen and family room opening to the back deck. center_img The back deck at 27 Lockhart St, Woolloongabba.Harcourts Homeside marketing agent, Sam Peterffy said the property was the quintessential Queenslander and the perfect home for raising a family. “Well presented for an immediate comfortable lifestyle, this house is perfect to live in exactly as is, but still has potential to create your own personalised masterpiece,” she said. The property will go to auction at noon on November 25. The home at 27 Lockhart St, Woolloongabba.Owners Bruce and Anne Redman have maintained the traditional feel of the home in the 23 years they have owned it. “The original features are what make it. It’s been there for over 100 years and it was made to last,” Mr Redman said.“It has leadlight windows, 14ft ceilings and, being a quintessential Queenslander, big verandas, north-facing (orientation) and lots of good breezes. The home has a lounge room, separate dining room and kitchen with sitting area. Inside 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron.There is also a multipurpose room, study, powder room and laundry on the ground level. Upstairs, the master bedroom has an ensuite and walk-in robe and the three remaining bedrooms have built-in robes. There is also a family bathroom and lounge room opening to the front balcony. In Clayfield, a six-bedroom classic colonial at 88 Bellevue Tce will also go under the hammer on Saturday. last_img read more

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Tampa Man Convicted of Smuggling Lizards from the Philippines

first_imgA Florida man has admitted to participating in a trafficking scheme in which live water monitor lizards were hidden inside electronic equipment and smuggled from the Philippines to the United States.Federal court records show that Tampa resident Akbar Akram pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of wildlife trafficking.According to the Justice Department, the 44-year-old man said he imported more than 20 live lizards back in 2016. He was able to avoid customs authorities by placing the reptiles in socks which were then sealed with tape, placed in electronic equipment, and subsequently shipped using a false label.The “equipment” was then sent through commercial carriers to Akram’s associate in Massachusetts, where Akram sold some of the lizards to customers there, as well as in Colorado and Connecticut.There are approximately 70 monitor lizard species, recognizable by their elongated necks and heavy bodies, in addition to their long-forked tongues, strong claws, and long tails.Water monitor lizards originate in South and Southeastern Asia.last_img read more

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