The Delaware Theatre Co brings a riveting and funny adaptation of George Bernard Shaw “Saint Joan” to Wilmington Feb. 6-24, 2019.
This classic play has been modernized with deft touches by Chelsea Marcantel. It is dramatic, absorbing, historically correct and also funny in the most innovative production I have recently seen.
The story of an illiterate country girl who is so beloved by the masses of people that she successfully led the French Army and drove the Engilsh army out of France in 1429.
She did this despite dangerous jealousy and hostility from royalty, Noble class, established church and politicians.
This revamped version of the story emphasizes the personality and reactions of Saint Joan (Clare O’Malley) as she becomes Combative about her mission to save France in spite of all of the Nay-Sayers. The new emphasis in the story is absorbing but the production is a modern wonder.
It starts with a curtain made of dangling rapes- some with ivy growing up then and remarkable lighting and projection design. This trio of innovators brought the audience glimpses of shadows on the wall of the main characters, St. Joan arriving at the battle on a large white horse with her sword drawn and the burning at the stake of St. Joan.
The massive set of stone arches appeared suitable for a cathedral, a palace and a courtyard. The whole tenor of this rewritten classic story puts the emphasis on the rising power of women and the ongoing battle between the politicians and those who would like to be in power.
It is a magnificent rewriting of a masterpiece by playwright Chelsea Marcantel, (a play writer to watch). She did this while maintaining the humor and moral complexity of Shaw’s original play. This new version of St. Joan was visualized and commissioned by Executive and Artistic Director Bud Martin who has been successfully leading Delaware Theatre Co. down “New paths” for the last six years.
Saint Joan runs through Feb. 24, 2019 for tickets call 302-594-1100 on-line DelawareTheatre.org, in person -200 Water Street Wilmington, DE 19801.