A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

I, Joan

I, Joan
03 September 2022
The Globe
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

I didn’t know much about the production of I, Joan beforehand, as I tend not to read up on shows before seeing them so I can be fresh and unbiased by other people’s opinions. This new production has certainly caused quite a stir!

The play tackles the story of Joan of Arc, legendary French saint and military leader, but frames it with a modern mindset, wrapping an important message into a dynamic tale. Re-examining the story of a young teenage girl who defied gender roles and class rules to take a leading role that was not open to people like her at the time, the play takes the direction that Joan was trans. Non-binary to be exact, passionately proclaiming that words like man or woman, girl or boy, have never felt big enough for her. And seeing how Joan was portrayed in history, in a time that didn’t have terms for those defying the gender binary, it feels very fitting.

The story is infused with feminist and trans-positive messages, blasting through all the negative, stereotypical rhetoric that more conservative viewers might try to use to dismantle this play. It’s powerful, positive, groundbreaking, and an absolute joy to watch. Deeply affirming of trans people, who have always existed, plays like this are so important in a time where people’s basic human rights are under attack.

Picking a uniquely suitable historical character, who is known as an early feminist and was eventually prosecuted for wearing men’s clothes, is a brilliant choice to drive home a point! Historical accuracy of Joan’s story mixed with a call to acceptance and freedom, this is exactly how a modern historical interpretation should be approached! I can’t fault anything in this play, from the cast to the choreography, the words to the costumes, it is simply perfect! Do not miss this ground breaking production!

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