Suneeda Maruthiyil

The Maias

Written by Eça de Queirós, Adapted by Alice de Sousa

The Maias, was written over a period of eight years and is set against a backdrop of a fast changing 19th century Portuguese society. Published in 1888, it traces the decline in a wealthy, land owning family and the incestuous romance between a brother and sister, who are unaware of their blood relationship. In The Maias, Eça creates a strong sense of human decay which is cultural, political and moral.

The colour palette chosen for the set was to embrace Lisbon as being ‘blue by day and gold by night’. Elements of Portuguese heritage and fashionable French Bourgeoisie influences were included in the design.  The floor was painted in rich mahogany tones with a false perspective to provide further depth to the space

…and played in an attractive setting of rouched silk and blue and white Portuguese tiles designed by Suneeda Maruthiyil.

Howard Loxton, The British Theatre Guide

I don’t know how they did it, but The Greenwich Playhouse genuinely managed to make the theatre smell and look just like a Portuguese house – the tiles, the ornate wooden furniture, the false flowers in a decorative vase, it was all there. Even with the tiny stage space prohibiting set changes, and the script allowing only for very basic costume changes, everything still worked wonderfully. In fact, its unchanging appearance perfectly mirrored its content.

Anna Byrne, London Festival Fringe

This production is a large undertaking for a small production company; 10 actors and surprisingly lavish sets, including some Lisbon-style blue and white tilework and some relatively indulgent costumes.

Steve Madgwick, The Docklands

A simple, well arranged  set provides an adequate backdrop for every scene. Luxurious tapered curtains  meet striking religious iconography to visually create a conflict that is ever  present in the play….. A decorative  chaise longue features in almost every dramatic turn. Set designer, Suneeda  Maruthiyil has used her expertise to excellent effect in creating such a  versatile, yet principally stationary set.

Vanessa Bunn, Extra!Extra!


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Scenic painting effects: white tiles with hand painted blue design. Hand painted religious icon mural and wooden mahogany flooring.


Creative Team:

Production Company:

Galleon Theatre Company