Review Round Up: I, Joan, Shakespeare’s Globe

We take a look at what critics have had to say about Ilinca Radulian’s production at the Shakespeare’s Globe.

(c)Tristram Kenton

The Guardian: **** “Isobel Thom gives a visceral, courageous performance as France’s patron saint, brought into the modern day by Charlie Josephine’s joyous production.”

Evening Standard: **** “Ilinca Radulian’s production deftly fuses text, music, movement and design, and exploits the unique dynamic at the Globe between actor and audience. Overall, it feels like a bit of a game-changer.”

The Arts Desk: **** “Yet what shines out in Charlie Josephine’s fresh, deliberately pared-down script is that all of us struggle to fit precisely into the categories that language assigns to us.”

Time Out: *** “That doesn’t detract from the fact it’s a righteous and hugely watchable romp that zips along a treat.”

The Independent: **** “The Globe’s much-publicised production of Charlie Josephine’s new play is no gender studies lecture but a rousing piece of theatre.”

City Am: “Josephine and Thom do not try to academicise but instead have made a Joan of Arc that is relatable for everyone, and there’s been a clear push to bring in teenagers to the audience with a simple and effective plot.”

Broadway World: **** “Queer rebellion is intersectional and deeply multifaceted, and it appears that both director, Ilinca Radulian (she/her) and designer, Naomi Kuyck-Cohen (she/her) have considered as many experiences as possible when crafting Joan’s environment. With this in mind, there is still so much socio-political territory left untouched. We should never forget that queer liberation would not exist without Black activism.”

WhatsOnStage: ***** “Also, key to the play’s success is director Ilinca Radulian who has staged it with both tremendous style and exuberant, individualistic flair. Though the means of depicting combat may prove divisive – a fusion of queer contemporary dance and Zumba that seemingly liberates the French through authentic self-expression, it is also ingenious.”

The Stage: *** “Charlie Josephine’s non-binary reframing of the legend of Joan of Arc, directed by Ilinca Radulian, is gloriously joyful and defiant.”

The Telegraph: ** “The idea of Joan as trans is a fertile subject for drama and discussion, but Charlie Josephine’s play comes across as desperately thin.”

The Reviews Hub: ***** “Like all great historical plays, I, Joan is as much about today as it is about then. Shakespeare took liberties with his historical figures to make points about life in his contemporary world; Shaw and others moulded Joan of Arc’s story to fit the narrative they wanted to tell. It is the prerogative of every playwright so to do, and Josephine does it magnificently.”

I, Joan continues to play at the Shakespeare’s Globe until the 22nd October.

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