I watched The Maids at the Trafalgar Studios and give it a 4/5 rating.
The Maids is an old French play. But it was very masterful in being adapted to the modern day and age without actually been adapted. Even if they wore frilly maid like dresses, they are still relatable to all the invisible help of today that are expected to exist around other people's existence.
Laura Carmichael was wonderful with her patronising kindness that switches so dramatically and unexpectedly into cruelty without her seeming to notice the change.
Uzo Aduba looks to be the subservient one not ever playing the pretty Laura in any of the role plays the two maids concoct. She seems never in control and always fearing the dreams her friend makes up that they are so out of reach. However, she turns aggressively mad and rises consciously stronger as she manipulates her partner and friend into taking all the blame when things go wrong. ( I know my interpretation differs from others.)
Zawe Ashton, who is apparently the star of the show, was annoyingly bad. She was a lot like Ophelia in Hamlet, with her voice consistently high-pitched and shaking that is hard on the ear and difficult to understand. So I never really got it when she was actually supposed to be agitated and when she wasn't. It's a bit over the top and while many people have praised her for her performance to hold her voice wavering like that all the time, I think she wasn't able to get a quiver in her voice clearly enough so the director made her shake it all the time.
This shocker play is supposed to have her character in control all the time and end the play with a dramatic finish. It seems like she has no clue what to do and gets shaky and scared all the time and it isn't her mistress but her partner who manipulates her into taking the plunge ultimately. It is true though that her partner doesn't actually expect her to do.
I loved the play. I loved Uzo Aduba for her acting and the story (or my version of it). And I think Jamie Lloyd brought it all together pretty well.