Joan: daughter, farm girl, visionary, patriot, king-whisperer, soldier, leader, victor, icon, radical, witch, heretic, saint, martyr, woman.
Saint Joan is a play by George Bernard Shaw, based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. Published in 1924, not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church, the play dramatises what is known of her life based on the substantial records of her trial. Shaw studied the transcripts and decided that the concerned people acted in good faith according to their beliefs.
He wrote in his preface to the play:
“There are no villains in the piece. Crime, like disease, is not interesting: it is something to be done away with by general consent, and that is all [there is] about it. It is what men do at their best, with good intentions, and what normal men and women find that they must and will do in spite of their intentions, that really concern us.”
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Gemma Arterton (Joan of Arc) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Saint Joan. She most recently starred as the title role in Nell Gwynn (Apollo) and as Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham (Adelphi) for which she won the Evening Standard ‘Best Newcomer in a Musical’ Award.
Hadley Fraser (Dunois) has previously appeared in the Donmar Warehouse productions of The Vote, City of Angels, Coriolanus and The Machine (Manchester International Festival, Park Avenue Armory, New York). Other cast inlcudes: Matt Bardock, Richard Cant and Elliot Levey.
SAINT JOAN plays at the DONMAR Warehouse until 18 February 2017
Photo: Jack Sain