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January 17, 2018

4

St. Joan

by N@ncy

 

  • Author: G.B. Shaw
  • Title: St. Joan (1412-1431)
  • Produced : 29 March 1924,  New Theatre London
  • Three-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad will take on the title role.
  • Shaw  wrote the play when he was 70 years old.
  • The title role had been written with Sybille Thorndike specifically in mind.
  • Trivia: Nobles Challenge
  • Trivia: Shaw was awarded the  Nobel Prize for Litrature 1925
  • Trivia: This play helped Shaw  win Nobel Prize for Literature 1925
  • Trivia: St Joan will open on Broadway on the 25th of April 2018.
  • Trivia:  Monthly planning 2018

Characters:

  1. St. Joan
  2. Robert de Baudricourt  (local squire where Joan lives)
  3. Richard de Beauchamp (Machiavellian English Earl of Warwick)
  4. Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, tried to find Joan a loophole in the Inquisition.
  5. John De Stogumber is Warwick’s chaplain (religious fanatic).
  6. Dauphin, Charles (heir to the throne)
  7. Archbishop of Rheims
  8. Dunois, Commander of the French troops at Orleans
  9. ..and God and France are also major players in this play

 

Introduction:

  1. We all know the plot:  (1 act with 7 scenes)
  2. Joan of Arc, claiming to have been told directly by God to
  3. flush the English out of northern France.
  4. She was granted control of the French army in 1429.
  5. She went on to break the siege of Orléans, only to be captured by the English.
  6. In the end she was tried for heresy and burnt at the stake.
  7. Timeline: 
  8. scenes  1-5 (February – July 1429);
  9. scene  6 (May 1431, trial and burning at the stake)
  10. scene 7 (25 years later…1456) epilogue

 

Conclusion:

  1. This is a tragedy …with comic moments.
  2. Shaw’s  melancholy attitude in part the result of his reaction to WWI.
  3. It took the Church of Rome nearly 500 years
  4. ….to decide whether she was a heretic or a saint.
  5. It took the Church of Rome only 30 minutes to burn her!
  6. Shaw wrote the play 3 years after St. Joan’s canonization.
  7. The play contains some of the playwright’s most acerbic writing.
  8. Strong point: Girl power
  9. the role of Saint Joan is …considered the actress’s equivalent of Hamlet
  10. It is not an easy role.
  11. Joan gushes sentimentality and melodrama yet she must…
  12. make Joan believable with her passion for both soldiering and religion.
  13. Strong point: epilogue
  14. This is THE most powerful part of the play….magnificent!
  15. #MustReadClassic …once in your lifetime!
  16. I read the play  (free online)
  17. and listened to an audio version.
  18. I highly recommend St. Joan with Siobhan McKenna.
  19. It is available at Downpour.com

 

Last thoughts:

  1. I was surprised to learn that Shaw made specific notes about the play.
  2. He did NOT want it to be preformed in a medieval setting!
  3. On opening night…..faced with medieval stage decor, Shaw said:
  4. “They’ve killed my play.”
  5. National Theatre London broadcast on 16th February 2017 
  6. St. Joan with Gemma Arterton  live from the Donmar Warehouse.
  7. Here is a short trailer just to give you an impression.
  8. I hope this performance will be available on DVD soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more from Classic, Nobel Prize, plays
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 17 2018

    Oh great its coming to the National Theatre, I hope it gets relayed here 🙂
    Sounds like an interesting rendition!

    Like

    Reply
    • Jan 17 2018

      I hope I can find a relay point here in th north of The Netherlands….I’m afraid not.
      My only hope is a DVD of the play if National Theater puts it out!
      The audio version was very good….and Siobhan McKenna as St. Joan had an Irish accent in her voice!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Jan 17 2018

    I studies Saint Joan at school – I’d love to see a live production one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Jan 17 2018

      I would love to see this play with an actress who can rage against the ‘non-believers’…”I hear my voices”. I had to think of St Joan this morning in the dentist’s chair…I asked he to give me courage “Allons-y”!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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