r-"LaE, SOLANGE and profound look at a nteids.
Madame enact a grim tea mistress relations Ab
sequence in Jean Genet's scene from "The Mal."
'The Maids' glowed
Cr y RAT TD O$MAN over's gtoAe OaW he nmana
u D cerebral her deliver with A ha ee,
plays ao pot cone very often cable preision, Every now
to te local stage. For the and then she rushes danger-
siiple reason that, it is the ously close to losing control
play with the ready appeal of her peori uin t then
which Guyanese rush to see. takes herself in hand just In
And yet when the U.S. time, maintaining a cred'bil-
Virgin Islands presented ity that is nevertheless high-
Jean Genet's "The Maids" at voltage.
the Theatre Guild Playhouse The indomitable Solange is
last week (their drama con- a perfect foil for the fragile
flbution to CARIFEST'.A) Clire. splendidly played b
the capacity audiences never Beverleigh Banfield. AetresP
fussed and fidgeted and gig- Banfield is quite adept at
gled in the wrong places, as managing credible nuances,
they are so prone to do. For both vocally and in the mani.
while Genest dialogue de- ipulation of her exquisite-
mianded maximum attention, ly formed features. H e r
a courtesy which the Guy- Claire is at once vulnerable
aneoe theatregoer accords and vibrant, prograesingw grp
most FgrtSigY, qudieniee geoualul pleas gra gvery
were tra xe d in the glow from her altar (the kitchen
e three talented actrease? at stove) to vitriolic insults
work. hurled at Solange when, to-
Belinda Barnes as Solange, gether, they enact the Mad-
Bverleitgh B an field d as ame-Maid vignette.
Claire an4 Everette Adding- Then there is Everette Ad-
to as gMadame were ahp,5t digtoa's Madat, a pero,
baroqe in their lavish ae, mtanee of sustained
liverie enacted in a. boy- excellence j ust a bit
doir whidi. looked, refresb- a1iy at first, bt then settling
ingy, like a boudoir. Byt djown l to a carefully foray
the r~1t~i set ~glibe t e atej portrayal. with pathet
ork" oi.. eit I glurmses of a oman who
work Y s-eis the parade pa4ag i.
by 4nd who find' tt pven
two Fl 1s s whn M4A~i though there are no wir.
away the oPLds oifter Ci g kles on her face, there is not
in the role of thei ess much time left o -her to
and ta1~flg this 1 PPportut4ty march to the brassband
to vent their frustrations
an4 almost uooly relatipo-
ship Wilt TO between them-
selves ad their employer.
Inevitably, the play acting
get$ out of hand and wiat
had begun as a girlish game
degenerate! into a pnjacabre
pas d4 tirai where 4agoers
are drawn and plunge and
twisted albut in the vu*lnerp
able psyc h of onep ad then
another of th1 trio.
Belinda Barnes's Papge
towers both physically and
YPlc~ Y above t I e
?syplogical y b ove the
onmesr OaW4 S 4 s ds4p
which keep on playing along.
Finally, when she dashes
off to meet her criminal
lover, leaving Solange and
Claire to their final bit of
play acting, she is again the
butt of a sustained dramatic
irony which hallmarks her
association with the maids
throughout the piece.
Only, this time, the irony
bears a new ironic lethalness
and for Madame, the parade
is well on its way to mov-
ing around the bend.