Friday, April 10, 2015

Review of The Plagiarists' These Saints Will Burn

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called These Saints Will Burn. It was by Robert Stewart and it was directed by Jack Dugan Carpenter. It was about Joan of Arc (Sara Jean McCarthy) and her first battle and how she got there. She met a lot of people along the way, like a mercenary named The Bastard R (Sean McGill), a guy who is a lot like Baudricourt (Julia Stemper), and the Dauphin (Melissa Reeves). And it all starts because of these saints--St. Sebastian (Stemper), St. Catherine (Jessica Saxvik), and Saint Margaret (Reeves)--who are kind of like bad friends to her because they encourage her to die because then she can become a saint. But I'm like, "What if she doesn't want to become a saint right at that moment. What if she wants to live a full life and then become a saint?" It definitely was a very different way of telling Joan of Arc's story. I thought the puppets were pretty awesome. Even though the fighting was very gross, it was still pretty fun to watch. I think people could have fun at this show if they want to have their minds twisted and turned about Joan of Arc and the story.

I thought that the puppets (designed by Andrew Marchetti) were cool. I really liked the kind of roughness, so they didn't look like puppets you would buy at the store. They looked very homemade and awesome. I think that Jeux the Crow (Tony Kaehny) was adorable and looked like an actual crow that you would see outside. Like, it was a little scruffy but still adorable, kind of like a newborn crow. He seemed like a best friend to Joan, and that made it even more sad at the end when they are both burned. She is in the pyre and they hand her the crow, which is like in the original story someone makes her a cross out of two sticks to die with. So the crow is like the cross. I think they chose to make the puppets of the powerful people giant so then they could tower over Joan but you could see that she still had power even though she was small. You don't usually think of puppets as powerful, you think of them as weak. If you feel you are being puppet-ed by someone, you feel like you have no power. She was small, but still she could beat them.

There is a lot of fights and violence in the show. Some of it I thought was pretty awesome. But some of it I felt like it was a little too over-the-top in grossness. Sometimes I was like, "Yeah! Go and kill that person!" but sometimes it made me sick to my stomach because you would see someone being dragged offstage and there were a bunch of thumps and The Bastard R would come back on stage with a severed head (props by Kailee Tomasic) with blood and veins coming out of it. I can't get that face out of my head. Oh my gosh, it was so creepy. But one of the things I really liked was the first few moves when it wasn't very gross and he would just come around and stab them and you were like, "Yay!" I think the play is asking, "Does God really want people to die so France can have the Dauphin become king?" Or maybe it is asking if Joan of Arc is sent by God. You kind of feel like that because of the really gross violence that happened and how you kind of feel sorry for the British because a bunch of them were brutally murdered by a person who was working for someone who might not have known the difference between a rainstorm and God sending a message.

There were also some kind of confusing parts to the show. Pretty close to the beginning there was a scene with the mother and the father of Joan of Arc. And they bought her a crocodile and she was allergic to it. And Baudricourt found that very funny because she was allergic to the crocodile. Sometimes I like weird and crazy things. When I got home I looked up to see if there was actually a Joan of Arc crocodile incident and I couldn't find anything. It would have been funnier if it had been more related to the story. Like if she had gotten on her horse and was allergic to that and couldn't stop sneezing on the entire ride there. I was also confused about how The Bastard R got to be a saint because he was such a bad person. He just murders people without a care. He doesn't even listen for mercy; he just murders them. I don't know how murdering gets you to heaven. I also didn't understand why they kept switching back from French to English. The thing is, some people in the audience didn't speak fluent French, so you might not be able to put together a sentence if some of it was in complicated French. I understood some of the French, but sometimes I got lost on the whole sentence.

People who would like this show are people who like adorable crows, bloody fight scenes, and big puppets. This show will boggle your mind but you can still have a fun time. It makes you think about the actual story of Joan of Arc and if all the things that she said were actually true.

Photos: Joe Mazza at Brave Lux

No comments: