Joan of Arc to be made a non-binary character as theatre pushes 'inclusivity' drive

A new theatre production will see legendary French heroine Joan of Arc made into a non-binary character

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A new Globe Theatre production will explore the life of Joan of Arc later this month.

Known throughout the ages for leading the French in battles against England in the Hundred Years War, she has been an icon of femininity for centuries.

But theatre bosses say the play – I, Joan – will “offer the possibility of another point of view” when it arrives later this month.

Isobel Thom, who also uses the pronouns “they/them”, will play the lead role and the script has been altered to change the pronouns of the French patron saint.

Joan of Arc has been an icon of femininity through the ages
Joan of Arc has been an icon of femininity through the ages
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre

Michelle Terry, artistic director of The Globe, said: “For centuries, Joan has been a cultural icon portrayed in countless plays, books, films, etc.

“History has provided countless and wonderful examples of Joan portrayed as a woman.

“This production is simply offering the possibility of another point of view.

“That is the role of theatre: to simply ask the question ‘imagine if?’.”

She added: “Theatres produce plays, and in plays, anything can be possible.

“Shakespeare did not write historically accurate plays. He took figures of the past to ask questions about the world around him.

“Shakespeare was not afraid of discomfort, and neither is the Globe.”

A statement on The Globe’s website affirmed that it was “committed to becoming an inclusive and diverse organisation” willing to make “necessary change”.

It said: “We aim to create a culture and environment in which everyone’s experience at Shakespeare’s Globe is equal, inclusive, and equitable."

I, Joan is set to run from August 25 to October 22.