Edinburgh Fringe: “Ladykiller” is the revenge of the working class

By Lucy Komisar

Hannah McClean as the maid, photo Madelaine Moore.

A woman‘s body stained with blood is on the ground. The maid (a terrific Hannah McClean) in white cap, black dress and stockings, arrives with bloodied hands and apron and holding a knife. Backtrack to see how this scene developed. Author Madeline Gould and director Madelaine Moore keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Lady was screaming at the maid that she‘d lost an expensive watch. The maid recalls, “She‘s telling me to empty my pockets. I don‘t want to, it‘s a privacy thing. She calls me thief. Says I‘ve hidden it in my bra, tells to take my uniform off.   She grabs my blouse collar.”

Hannah McClear as the maid with blood on her hands, photo Madelaine Moore.

Then, “We end up on bed, she is on top, she hits me in the head, her knees are on my chest, I reach behind for a letter opener.”

Be nice to people who are in customer service.

“I said to myself the first person to fuck with me they‘re going to get it.”

And, “She is screaming, I say fuck it, she was waiting for it. I‘m the victim there.”

And then, a bit of the “MeToo” movement.

She says, “We get a key to every room. Guys with cocks coming out of dressing rooms. But I want to keep my job.”

Hannah McClear as the maid victorious, photo Madelaine Moore,

She is cool outside but furious inside, near hysterical but also calculating. This is a woman who reads books, goes to the cinema, even pretends to read the party manifestos at the general election. But she snaps at the way she is treated by a rich hotel patron.

Her advice is don‘t let them see anger or darkness. Turn your victim into a deviant. Exercise revenge. Feign mental illness. But then she says, “You‘re exchanging one institution for another.”

Ah, do the workers ever really win? A riveting play.

Ladykiller.” ‹Written by Madeline Gould, directed by Madelaine Moore, set by Baska Wesolowska. The Thelmas, at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Fringe. August 2018.

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