•   
  •   

World Joan of Arc becomes non-binary icon in London play

08:40  29 september  2022
08:40  29 september  2022 Source:   afp.com

Hugh Sheridan gives thanks to Neil Diamond's lyrical genius in new Solitary Man tribute show

  Hugh Sheridan gives thanks to Neil Diamond's lyrical genius in new Solitary Man tribute show Australian actor and singer Hugh Sheridan endured a crushing 2021 but the American singer-songwriter pulled them through the darkest days.A four-time Logie-winning actor, singer and dancer, Sheridan — who last year came out as non-binary — told ABC Radio Adelaide's Stacey Lee of the backlash they endured when they were cast in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

A new play in London has reinvented France's sainted Joan of Arc as a non-binary icon, who rejects female identity as they struggle to find a place in a man's world.

France's sainted Joan of Arc has been reimagined as a non-binary icon in a controversial new play in London © Joël SAGET France's sainted Joan of Arc has been reimagined as a non-binary icon in a controversial new play in London

"I, Joan" had not even been performed at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in August when Time Out magazine called it "the most controversial play of the year".

The first images, showing Joan with breasts bound, were enough to set social networks alight.

Hardly a month goes by in Britain without a battle about gender identity and the play has given all sides in the debate fresh ammunition.

Orléans: 5 local specialties to discover

 Orléans: 5 local specialties to discover Discover the authentic taste of this city, thanks to these local nuggets, sorted on the shutter. The mustard rose to us in the nose In 1580, the King of France recognizes the brotherhood of vinegars and mustard 'Orleans. It was at this time that the recipe for the creamy specialty dates back. It is developed from French mustard seeds crushed with the stone wheel and we find, of course, in its composition, the vinegar of the city and the salt of Guérande .

The play about France's patron saint, the 'maid of Orleans' who repelled the English in the Hundred Years War in the 15th century, was written by Charlie Josephine, with Joan played by Isobel Thom.

'I, Joan' is being performed at Shakespeare's Globe theatre © Tolga Akmen 'I, Joan' is being performed at Shakespeare's Globe theatre

Both Josephine and Thom were born female but define themselves as non-binary.

The staging of the play at the landmark theatre on the South Bank of the River Thames is firmly contemporary, with no period costume.

The wife of the king's eldest son or dauphin, the later king Charles VII, is played by a black woman. Modern choreography defines the fight scenes.

But Joan's story is still told -- from meeting the dauphin and fighting battles to standing trial and being burnt at the stake in 1431.

Mayoral candidate Louise Elliot blames frustration for signing off email as Kermit the Frog

  Mayoral candidate Louise Elliot blames frustration for signing off email as Kermit the Frog It may be one of Australia’s most sought-after foods, but the art of rice production isn't always at the forefront of shoppers' minds. Now, a team of researchers in Darwin are taking a new approach to growing the ancient grain - and yielding unexpected results.

The question of gender runs throughout.

"To be born a girl and you are not a girl. God, why did you put me in this body?" a short-haired Joan asks at one point, wearing men's clothes.

Joan rejects the dresses that people expect them to put on.

"I am not a woman. I do not fit that word," they say. One of her friends suggests: "Maybe your word has not been invented yet?"

Her allies then suggest she uses the pronoun "they", prompting huge cheers from the audience. Opponents in the play call her "she".

At Joan's trial for heresy, one sentence is repeated by the judges: "Do you think it is well to take men's dress? Even if it is unlawful?"

"What are you so afraid of?" Joan replies, laughing.

"I am not a woman. I am a warrior."

- Controversy -

Feminists such as Heather Binning, founder of the UK-wide Women's Rights Network, are against the portrayal.

"She experienced what she experienced because she was a woman. You can't change that," she said.

What the war means for Ukrainians with disabilities

  What the war means for Ukrainians with disabilities Rights activists and carers are filling the gap as the war creates huge challenges in accessing disability support.Lviv, Ukraine – Four-year-old Teona sits in a room filled with purple beanbags and other sensory toys, patting an inflated balloon vigorously with both her hands. She seems cheerful and vivacious, occasionally crying out in joy. Speaking to her in a kindly, measured tone is a play therapist, Sofia. Her job is to help Teona improve her social skills. Watching the two interact, it’s hard to imagine that the last few months have been intensely traumatic for Teona in ways that she cannot articulate.

"This lobby group is hijacking all our inspirational women from history. This ideology is insulting to women.

"There's a lot of women we don't know about because history was written by men for men."

But Josephine and Thom defended the play.

"I forgot I was blaspheming a saint," Josephine wrote in The Guardian.

"Nobody is taking historical Joan away from you," insisted Thom on Twitter. "Nobody is taking away your Joan, whatever Joan may mean to you...

"This show is art: it's an exploration, it's imagination."

Shakespeare's Globe took the same approach, likening the interpretation in "I Joan" to the approach of the celebrated English playwright.

"Shakespeare did not write historically accurate plays. He took figures of the past to ask questions about the world around him," it said.

"Our writers of today are no different. History has provided countless and wonderful examples of Joan portrayed as a woman.

"This production is simply offering the possibility of another point of view. That is the role of theatre: to simply ask the question 'imagine if?'"

- Zeitgeist -

Re-examining Joan's life through a contemporary lens is also taking hold in her native France.

"It's the Zeitgeist," said Valerie Toureille, a university professor specialising in the Hundred Years War and the author of a 2020 book on Joan.

"It doesn't shock me. There are women who decided to take a different path from both men and women. That's the case with Joan of Arc," she added.

Asked about Joan's wearing of men's clothes, she said: "It was for protection against rape and it's much easier to ride a horse as a man than looking like an Amazon."

Nevertheless, for Toureille, men's clothes on Joan was the key issue at the heresy trial.

"This is material proof that backs up the religious argument. For men of the Church, Joan in these clothes went beyond her status as a woman."

ctx/phz/bp/mca

Trustee of transgender kids' charity resigns after unearthed speech to group for 'minor-attracted persons' .
The leader of a transgender kids' charity in the UK resigned following the revelation he delivered a 2011 speech to a group that advocates services for "minor-attracted people."Dr. Jacob Breslow, who serves as associate professor of gender and sexuality at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), tendered his resignation to Mermaids, a nonprofit whose website says it "has been supporting transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995.

usr: 1
This is interesting!