Review | JOAN: Bear witness to brilliant execution

Joan | The Round | til Feb 10th | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

It is hard to exaggerate how good this show is, and how much I enjoyed it.

Haunting, hilarious and soul-stirring, JOAN proves just how transformative and immersive theatre can be.

I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into with JOAN. Descending the stairs into the bowels of the State Theatre Centre, I wasn’t entirely certain I was in the right place. That is, of course, until I walked into a room filled with smoke and mirrors with a lone performer pacing the stage. I knew I was in the right place then.

Performed by popular drag king performer Lucy Jane Parkinson (best known for winning Drag Idol UK in 2014 as LoUis CYfer), and written by Lucy Skillbeck (OUTInPerth also spoke to the pair recently)  the show features warrior Joan of Arc as she delves into her life’s journey.

Fringe shows often face the challenge of adapting to unconventional space, in this case a sub-level rehearsal room, but the the show makes terrific use of the space. Whilst stamping its own personality on the venue, complete with a disco ball, by utilisng the compact space the show  tells a movingly intimate tale.

Showtunes, beards, Twix mustaches and gold sequins all collide to create a show that is as exhilarating as it is entertaining. As with many shows that come through Fringe World, the energy in the room was infectious (and that was played on; audiences’ acting abilities were called upon as well).

Even to those who do not consider themselves fans of drag, or, like myself, aren’t particularly knowledgeable of St. Joan of Arc, the show is certain to entertain you from star to finish, and leave you pondering the life of a woman you have never met.

The show shined bright in every possible way, and JOAN is an utterly brilliant piece of performance art.

Do yourself a favour and go see JOAN at The Round. 

Davis Burke

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