Joan of Arc. Saint, saviour or someone who heard voices?
During one of the world’s longest wars, a teenage girl led an army of men into battle to a victory that defined France. She said God asked her to save the country. She’s accused of witchcraft, the punishment for which is being burnt at the stake.
Jean Anouilh’s classic play, in a pacey contemporary adaptation, recreates Joan’s trial.
Joan’s family ridicule her claims – her father says she’s a slut. But she persuades local hero, Robert de Beaudricourt, to lend her a horse and armour. And then persuades puppet king Charles to let her lead the French Army to war. But once victory is declared on the battlefield and Charles is triumphantly crowned, the establishment turn on her. In front of the assembled court, she’s asked to account for her actions. The church accuse her of heresy and encourage her to renounce her faith. Confused and disorientated, she signs a confession and is thrown in prison. But when she realises she’s turned her back on her God – or is consigned to a life being ordinary – she faces up to her fate and aged 19, is burnt alive.
Was Joan hearing voices, inspired by God, trying to save France? Was she one of the world’s first feminists or did she just see an opportunity to escape from a small village and a life spent spinning clothes and watching sheep?
Male 13 / Female 5
Jean Anouilh’s script, The Lark, presents the cast as a chorus. And Gill Taylor’s fresh translation brings it bang up to date. Actors step from the group to play the various roles. So for many characters, gender and age is fluid. A full cast breakdown
and audition pieces for speaking roles available on request.
Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group’s production will feature a choir who’ll be on stage throughout. Some of the choir will be composed of the actors.
EGTG are also interested in people who only want to be in the choir. Choir members can be male or female, over 8 years old and will be needed for Sunday rehearsals only until the show is looming.
If you’re interested in the choir only, EGTG will need to hear you sing at the auditions (but won’t need to hear you read). Depending on your vocal range, men should sing a verse or two of Always On My Mind and women Royals by Lorde.
The show will run from Tuesday 4 June to Saturday 8 June 2019 at 7.30pm. It will take place at Bellfield in Portobello in the Celebration Hall.
Open auditions are on Thursday 24 January at 7.30pm and Sunday 27 January at 2.30pm at 18 Buccleuch Place in Newington, Edinburgh. If you can’t make either of these times, alternatives can be arranged.
Any production involving under 18 year olds needs a licence from Edinburgh Council, so under 18 year olds cast will need to fill out some paperwork. A Child Protection Policy is available on request. All cast members will need to join the group for insurance purposes. Membership is £25 for the calendar year.
Rehearsals will be three times a week from the end of February. Characters will be called to rehearsals by scene so won’t be needed for all rehearsals. Rehearsals are likely to be Monday and Wednesday evenings, occasional Friday evenings (all 7.30pm start) and Sunday afternoons (2pm until 6pm). Choir rehearsals will take place on a Sunday.