Friday 26 October 2007

Joan of Arc Play

As well as writing non-fiction I have been asked to write a play about Joan of Arc. I am very aware that there have been many plays written on this subject, including the famous one by George Bernard Shaw. However my approach is going to be radically different (as usual!). I intend to focus in on the curious reports of her 'Voices'. Joan insisted in her trial that she had been guided from the age of 13 by voices. These voices seemed to know a great about Joan, including her future. It has long been believed that these voices were reported by Joan as being those of St Michael, St Catherine of Alexandria and St Margaret of Antioch. However in 1996 historian Karen Sullivan reread the trial transcripts and all the historical material referring to Joan’s voices and comes to a startling conclusion: no saints were ever named prior to the trial! Sources outside the trial referring to these saints by name are all either anti-Joan and cite the trial, or they come at least 14 years after the trial when the notion of specific saints being the source of Joan’s voices has become commonplace mythology. Joan, apparently, never mentioned these saints by name to her closest relations, friends, or companions in arms who testified she heard the voice of God.

Joan's 'voices' were, in fact, a singular voice. This voice Joan called 'Council'. If my Daemon-Eidolon Dyad theory is correct then this voice was her Daemon. This would explain this being's curious precognitive abilities.

In the play I will focus purely on this aspect of Joan's life. I have read all the trial manuscripts and I intend to dramatise this relationship over three acts. What is really exciting is that my producer has found two young actresses who look very alike. My intention is to have the two on stage communicating as a Daemon and Eidolon would. Indeed this will allow me to present the Daemon-Eidolon Dyad in a dramatic and very effective way.

It is hoped that the play will be first performed next year as part of the Liverpool Capital of Culture celebrations.


Rach said...

Hi Tony,

This sounds really exciting. I am extremely intrigued with the whole Daemon theory and I look forward to hearing more about the play.

Best Wishes
Rachel Southern

Anthony Peake said...

Hi Rachel,
Glad you could join us. I am hoping that through the medium of a play I will be able to explain how the Daemon-Eidolon actually works in practice. The skill is making the play dynamic and entertaining as well as informative. We have a few ideas how we may present the voices but we are at a very early stage (pun not intended) at the moment.

Hurlyburly said...

Mine keep's telling me to go to the post office....

I don't get it?

Also very interested, keep us informed good sir ;0)

Anthony Peake said...

The background to the play is quite interesting. I saw an article in one of the local papers here on Wirral asking whether any local writers would like to get together to contribute towards Wirral's involvement in the Liverpool Capital of Culture celebrations for 2008. Behind this idea is John Gorman. For those of you of a certain age John will be remembered as one of the members of the band 'The Scaffold'. They had a few big hits in the late 1960's. John then went on to join a band called 'Grimms'.

For those of you slighly younger John was one of the original founders of the famous TISWAS TV series with Chris Tarrant, Sally James and Lenny Henry.

I gave John a ring and we met up at The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight. John was fascinated by my whole theory and suggested that I write a play based around the theory. So here I am doing exactly that.

In fact the Joan play is one of two that John wishes me to write. The second one, which is far more ambitious in scope, will be a dramatised version of a story I wrote twenty years ago called 'The Graeae'. I was very pleased with the plot all those years ago and always felt that it would make a stunning play and/or movie.

Fortunately John agrees and there is an intention (only an intention at this stage) to have this play be the first production of an envisaged Wirral-based theatre called 'The Wirral Theatre of Science'.

Both these plays may never get to production stage but I, for one, am quite excited.



Karl Le Marcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Le Marcs said...


Given my combined love of Theatre, Literature and your brilliant theories, you can be assured that I would be in attendance for any one of your plays.

Indeed, as you know, I am myself working on a play that "borrows" some of your Daemon/Eidolon Dyad conception but taking it to within the area of Mental Health and lefy/right brain duality.

Symbolism is everything so my play simply has two characters who never leave their respective halves of the stage but interact with Beckettian dialogue across a big white table in the middle of the room (Pinteresque).

The play evolves into the realisation that all the dialogue is merely the manifestation of the neural synaptic firings across the corpus collusum (white table) within the mind of a Bipolar/Schizoaffective patient.

It's a riotous comedy !!