A friend was going to the theatre and the person going with her had to drop out, so I was asked if I would like to go. I admit that I was a bit doubtful when I saw the information, but agreed to go. The play was called “Joan” and was about Joan of Arc (sort of) but was a one woman show and had won prizes at The Fringe (2016).
It was in the small theatre, which is a nearly circular set up, but when we got there we were not allowed to sit on the fixed seats but on others which they had set up totally in the round. I think our timing was right, so we were in the middle row of three which was not too “exposed” (front row) and didn’t have the uncomfortable high bar type chairs (back row). The actor was around already and did seem to be a bit nervous but was OK when she had got going.
The play sort of followed the life of Joan of Arc but was really about gender and whether it is OK to be cross-gender or act/behave like the other gender – specifically female as male. The actor has been a drag king champion and I am not surprised at that – she took 3 separate male roles, as well as being Joan and was very convincing in all of them. I was also impressed at how quickly and easily she put on make up (in front of us) to give herself a beard or moustache. The play was very well done with the only props being 4 boxes, 4 mirrors and some costumes and the woman played all the parts – except a couple of men from the audience had to do things.
Did I enjoy it? Not very much (but my friend thought it was really good). I always dislike it when people are pulled from the audience and have to do something, especially if they are being made fun of – as one man was a bit in this. I was not totally comfortable with some of the things that she did when challenging gender stereotypes either; they seemed a bit inappropriate.
Would I go to another “challenging” piece of theatre like this? Maybe; maybe not……. Lets say I might think about it a bit more carefully before I say yes.
- Posted in: Things to do