Presented by THE RABBLE and Vitalstatistix
Joan raises her hand to the sky.
It bursts into flames.
Everywhere there are women burning.
White ash falls.
Joan is a teenage girl. A virgin soldier who will convince an army of men that she hears the voice of the divine. She will burn.
A miraculous historical figure, Joan of Arc is young, female, a virgin, illiterate and poor and inevitably predestined for sacrifice. Her body is the site for communal transference – a totemic vessel for a nation’s anxieties and hopes – and for six centuries, an effigy of gendered violence.
Over four acts, THE RABBLE’s homage to France’s medieval heroine traverses Joan’s iconography from kneeling silent-cinematic maiden to pious saint, from immolation to rousing immortal orator.
For over 12 years, Melbourne theatrical mavericks THE RABBLE (Kate Davis and Emma Valente) have radically reimagined and repopulated familiar stories with female voices and aesthetics, pointing at subterranean feminist concepts in folklore, literature and history. JOAN is an extraordinary, prescient and surreal theatrical work enjoying sell-out season at Theatre Works, Wuzhen International Theatre Festival, China and Brisbane Powerhouse.
“For the past decade the company has refined an aesthetic of theatrical poetry that is unlike any other in Australia. For comparison, you’re forced to reach for the dance theatre of Pina Bausch, or the radical, desolating visual language of Romeo Castellucci.” – Alison Croggon, The Monthly
Vitalstatistix’s presentation of JOAN is part of a multi-year partnership with THE RABBLE.
ULYSSES workshop/creative development (invitation only): 20-22 July
Image credit: David Paterson
Kate Davis (co-creator, set and costume design), Emma Valente (co-creator, text, direction, light and sound design), Martyn Coutts (AV design), Leisa Shelton (dramaturgy), Josh Wright (producer). Featuring: Ra Chapman, Emily Milledge, Dana Miltins and Mary Helen Sassman.