Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Glenda Jackson and Susannah York

Extract from Jean Genet - The Maids:

CLAIRE [timidly]:

At least . . . suppose we said a prayer?


Do you dare bring God....


But to the Holy....

Bring the Mother of God into the ceremony? Really, you've got more nerve than I thought. You've no shame.


More softly, Solange, the walls are thin.

SOLANGE [less loudly]:

You're going mad, Claire. It's God who's listening to us. We know that it's for Him that the last act is to be performed, but we mustn't forewarn Him. We'll play it to the hilt.


Not so loud!


The walls are His ears.


Then I'll put on the white dress.


If you like. It makes no difference. But hurry up! Let's drop the preliminaries and get on with it. We've long since stopped needing the twists and turns and the lies. Let's get right into the transformation. Hurry up! Hurry up! I can't stand the shame and humiliation any longer. Who cares if the world listens to us and smiles and shrugs its shoulders and says I'm crazy and envious! I'm quivering, I'm shuddering with pleasure. Claire, I'm going to whinny with joy!

[During this speech, CLAIRE has taken down the white dress and, hidden behind a screen, has put it on over her black dress whose black sleeves show.]

CLAIRE [appearing, all in white, with an imperious voice:

SOLANGE [ecstatically]:
You're beautiful!


Skip that. You said we're skipping the prelude. Start the insults.


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