Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw
Hypothetical design for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast / Linbury Prize Finalist 2015
Direction: Jimmy Fay
Set and Costume Design: Frankie Bradshaw
In designing Saint Joan for Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, I wanted to create a space in which the various epic battles within this historical drama could play out. We first see a struggle for national independence, but the wider battle is of Joan’s relationship with the church as we explore the dichotomy of a war hero who is inspired by God but is simultaneously breaking every convention of The Church. I was inspired by the striking and oppressive gothic architecture of the medieval era, and also by the religious and political turmoil in Ireland’s recent history. Through transitions across the production from light to dark, from medieval to WW1 to present day civil war, and from lush fertility to a war-torn desolate landscape, I aimed to use this production to delve into what it means to be an extremist fighting for freedom in both Joan’s world and in our world today.