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Joan of Arc becomes non-binary icon in London play

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By Caroline TAIX

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Historians have debunked the claims about history made by the playwright (in interviews) to try to justify casting Joan of Arc as "non-binary" in the play. Several eyewitnesses who were at Joan of Arc's trial said she told them she continued wearing soldier's clothing (the so-called "male clothing" that allegedly makes her "non-binary") in prison so she could keep it "firmly laced and tied together" to prevent her guards from pulling her clothing off when they tried to rape her, since this type of clothing allowed the trousers, hip-boots and tunic to be laced together into a single piece. In the end, she was maneuvered into a false "relapse" (to justify a conviction) when the guards took away her dress and forced her to put the soldier's clothing back on, according to the trial bailiff, Jehan Massieu. She therefore didn't choose to "die for men's clothing" as the playwright claims since she was forced into the situation. She consistently called herself "the maiden" ("la pucelle") and used this term to link herself to a prophecy that a "maiden from the borders of Lorraine" would save France, which would indicate she identified as the girl in the prophecy and hence identified as a girl (rather than as non-binary or gender-fluid) beyond any reasonable doubt. Medieval French had a gender-neutral form of this same term that she could have used instead if she had wanted to. She also didn't "transgress gender norms" since the medieval Church explicitly allowed an exemption for cross-dressing if it was done out of necessity, and she said her role in the army was carrying her banner rather than fighting or leading : she denied calling herself a commander (confirmed by Charles VII's military records), and she denied fighting (confirmed by eyewitness accounts). The play not only distorts history on all these points but also goes so far as to have her complaining about Twitter (!) in speeches given during events from her (15th century) life. The playwright explains this by saying that the play deliberately adds modern elements to the 15th century events, but this just adds to the bizarre, trite nature of the play.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And then we will wonder why our children in the near future have no idea of the past.

Hamilton ignores the facts of the period, woman king turn slavers into anti slavery heroes.

Now a Catholic religious zealots is being portrayed as LGBTQ!

Facts, reality are now fiction.

"Presentism" is now the norm taking the past an acting like today's standards applied back then.

Next will be equal opportunity Neanderthal vegans being percecuted by blue eyed white male homo sapiens despite the fact no blue eyes or white skin had yet developed in the species.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

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

Feminists have a right to be angry.

They spent decades fighting for the recognition of women's contribution to history and the elimination of gendered stereotypes and now there back and womanhood is under attack.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Bronco

Today 07:45 am JST

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

> Feminists have a right to be angry.

> They spent decades fighting for the recognition of women's contribution to history and the elimination of gendered stereotypes and now there back and womanhood is under attack.

So in order to do what you claim they are trying to do they need to lie and invent stuff.

Instead of finding real facts and real events in history to make their point.

No they need to take a woman that was very religious and a believer in a religion and it's doctrine to the point of being willing to die for it. A religion that at the the time and still today did not and does not recognize LGBTQ non binary, etc..

A woman that is considered a saint by that religion.

Imagine doing that same thing with another less tolerant religion or religious figure

I am an Atheist but I am respectful of the beliefs of others as long as they leave me alone.

This is just disrespectful in so many ways.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The history remains the same and this is not revisionism. It is just a single play at the famous London Shakespeare's Globe theater.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

"Shakespeare did not write historically accurate plays. He took figures of the past to ask questions about the world around him. Our writers of today are doing no different, whether that’s looking at Ann Boleyn, Nell Gwynn, Emilia Bassano, Edward II, or Joan of Arc."

https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/identity-in-i-joan

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I would dare anyone to do the same with the religiously revered women in certain other religions!

I wonder how that would go down.

Pure revisionism using the fasle claim of artists freedom.

And some people are so willing to beg to be seen as progressive they are willing to swallow these claims.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It's just a play. People can boycott it.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Shakespeare did not write historically accurate plays. He took figures of the past to ask questions about the world around him. Our writers of today are doing no different, whether that’s looking at Ann Boleyn, Nell Gwynn, Emilia Bassano, Edward II, or Joan of Arc."

Shakespeare never changed the gender of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony wants made a woman and he/she and Cleopatra didn't have a lesbian love relationship.

Shakespeare didn't have Mark Anthony winning, he didn't have Richard the third a woman who was fighting to Equality.

Yes he took some theatrical liberties, BUT and this is a very big BUT he stuck to the history and the outcome.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Shakespeare was criticized for mixing comedy and tragedy and failing to observe the unities of time and place prescribed by the rules of classical drama. Dryden and Johnson were among the critics claiming that he had corrupted the language with false wit, puns, and ambiguity.

'The Merchant of Venice' perpetuates vile stereotypes of Jews.

I, Joan review – non-binary Joan of Arc proves a rousing protest piece

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2022/sep/02/i-joan-review-globe-theatre-london-non-binary

The Globe’s ‘I, Joan’ is the most controversial play of the year

"The Globe has put out a statement emphasising the fact the play isn’t trying to revise history and is just a fictional exploration of a historical figure whose gender identity has been speculated upon before. It would seem pretty laughable to imagine that a two-month run for a new play in England would have any impact whatsoever on the global perception of Joan’s gender."

https://www.timeout.com/london/news/the-globes-i-joan-is-the-most-controversial-play-of-the-year-and-its-not-even-on-yet-081622

Globe Statement

https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/identity-in-i-joan/

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Someone needs to write a play about Feminists v Trans activists. A querelle for our times. If they have some bare flesh in it, it will get some column inches in the papers.

Shakespeare rifled through history and literature and mashed it up with ahistorical speech and inaccurate costumes. That's the fun of stage drama. It is inherently unrealistic, so disbelief can easily be suspended, and you can throw yourself into whatever you are watching. Sometimes it works and is mesmerising. More often it is awful or embarrassing or just dull. There are no rules. Artistic freedom is worth supporting in these Orwellian times.

If you don't like the idea of it, nobody is forcing you to go. It's not mandatory.

Don't stop at St. Joan. Check out the Chevalier/Chevalière d'Éon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_d%27%C3%89on

Henri III enjoyed cross dressing too. Not sure about Macron.

In TV or film this is much harder to do (Derek Jarman, Mel Brooks and the Monty Python team did it with aplomb). In general, in TV and film, it just looks silly. But in stage drama, if it works (and it is not easy to make it work) it can be really good. It does need to be a good drama though, not a lazy mishmash of gimmicks with added shock value.

In this case, from the piece above, it does sound a bit insular. Trans theatre for trans activists, to boost morale. So it may have more social value than artistic merit. But to really determine that, you have to go there and experience it.

As for the feminist opposition, weren't feminists doing activist drama just like this a few decades back?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The Globe has put out a statement emphasising the fact the play isn’t trying to revise history and is just a fictional exploration of a historical figure whose gender identity has been speculated upon before. It would seem pretty laughable to imagine that a two-month run for a new play in England would have any impact whatsoever on the global perception of Joan’s gender."

I could put out a statement the earth is flat the moon is made of cheese but that doesn't mean they are!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I wonder if Shakespear was a modern playwright what would his plays be about?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Look up the following on YouTube

Bill Maher actually talks about this play, history, facts and presentism.

Some common sense said directly.

"New Rule: A Unified Theory of Wokeness | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)"

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I wonder what will be next on the revisionists list.

I have it, a play about Winston Churchill. But he is now a transgender black male fighting for what is right including India's independence.

Now that would be fine, right?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bill Maher never went to the play. He makes fun of everything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I wonder if Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did soon poorly wants because the present world is so messed up and up is down, down is left, left is round, round is straight, straight is gay, gay are women, women are men, no one is anything, and babies are hatched from genetic material collected from non binary asexual drones.

I mean Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness can't compete with the crazy world we are presently being fed by Hollywood, TV and theatre.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The play will be performed Oct 1-22. Very limited audience. About 3,000 per performance. About 60,000 max for this play.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Antiquesaving

You do get badly triggered by these things. It’s borderline hysteria.

You haven’t seen it and I very much doubt that you will go and see it.

It’s just a play.

There are more important things to get riled up about.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

One of my all-time favourite tv shows was called Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.

There were many actual historical figures like King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu.

But guess what ? All the characters were dogs. Can you believe that ? Just blows your mind doesn't it ?

I mean, whatever next ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When invented Ideology is political craziness, it makes me sick.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This sort of thing has a long history.

Dorothea Celesia (daughter of the playwright David Mallet) wrote a free translation of Voltaire's 'Tancrède' entitled 'Almida'. Garrick staged it at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1771. It was notable for its shift of focus from the warrior Tancred, as in Voltaire's original, to Almida, the heroine, and the latter's assertion of her right to choose her own spouse.

A number of Shakespeare's plays were 'updated' by other authors to cater for modern tastes in style and content.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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