A satire set in France time travelling back to the Middle Ages and returning to today.

2 women or many more. This can be a large choral work  for womenwith the text divided or performed with 2-3 actors of differing ethnicities.

Juliet Dante, Rachel Harper und Samantha Pearl, in Aktion beim Theaterstueck “St Joan” von Julia Pascal, aufgenommen am Freitag, 22. Mai 2015, im Gasometer in Triesen. Regie fuehrte die Liechtensteinerin Katrin Hilbe. Foto & Copyright: Eddy Risch

 

London 2015.
Directed by Katrin HIlbe.

 

Clip from French Television 1997
Directed by Julia Pascal.

stJoan

Joan Rabinowitch in a Taxi

I am in a taxi crossing London. It’s a hot summer’s afternoon. The taxi driver is a Hindu. Tells me about reincarnation. How you never die. After death you are reborn. You start on the journey as an insect maybe, so never kill a fly you never know it might have been your father in another life and then with each lifetime you learn something and you gain a higher consciousness and next time round you are born as, say, a goat or a cow and so it goes on until you are reborn as a human. First a woman of course and then if you behave well and live a good life then maybe a man which of course is higher than a woman and then highest of all is a priest. It is a hot night, I go to sleep with the window open.

Joan of Arc!

What would it be like to come back as Joan of Arc?

 

 

Joan’s Dream

Domrémy

I lie in my bed at night and through the window I see

the great crossroads

that cut France and

Germany

Roads for travellers?

Roads for armies?

Here where the roads meet they form a cross

A St Andrew’s cross

Under my window. A cross

Lorraine

I see a great four-headed road

Paris

Aix la Chapelle

Prague

Vienna

Domrémy lies on the brink of a boundless forest

Haunted by fairies

At night, once a year

In the summer as night falls and spirits awaken

the priest goes to the forest and reads mass to keep the

fairies’ power down

 

 

Joan’s Trial

[All these voices come from her. She is both accuser and accused.]

Do you give yourself over to the Church Militant?

Yes

You say God has ordered you to wear men’s clothing

Yes

So why do you want to wear women’s dress for your death?

Do you know that Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret hate the English?

They love those who our Lord loves and they hate those God hates

Does God hate the English?

I don’t know but I know the English will be booted out of France! Except for those who die here.

 

Joan Sings Mass

[With horror.]

The body had to be reduced to cinders and thrown in the Seine

They dress me in a long white tunic and a tall white hat

And on it they write

‘heretic

backslider

apostate

devil-worshipper’

The sound of the cart’s wheels on the cobble and it’s five hundred year’s humiliation as they lead me and ‘witch’ they scream

I was born on the night of the Epiphany January 6th fourteen twelve

They say that on that night the cocks in the countryside crowed with unusual persistence and the villagers experienced an inexplicable sensation of great joy

‘France will be saved by a Virgin!’

People spoke of other marvellous events. The singing of

the the cocks, this cantus gallorum, seemed to have a

singularly prophetic quality.

And when the cock crows three times he will say...

The body had to be reduced to cinders and thrown in the Seine

On the Wednesday

After Trinity Sunday

I was guarded by eight hundred spearmen and led to a platform of a great height

constructed of a wooden billet supported by occasional

walls and lathe and plaster and traversed by hollow spaces in every direction

For the creation of air currents

The man who orders my death

the Bishop of Beauvais dies on soft down

and

I

I

I in a fire upon a scaffold

 

 

Joan Takes a Trip to Paris

It is a coolish summer, and, as usual, in August, Paris is empty of Parisians, only the tourists fill the streets to marvel at the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées and the Folies Bergères.....

 

ENDS

St Joan is available in Vol. 3 by Julia Pascal, published by Oberon Books