Joan’s tale gets the Retold treatment at Derby Theatre

Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer in Joan Retold
Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer in Joan Retold

Derby Theatre’s Studio plays host to Joan Retold, a production in association with Milk Presents, which can be seen there on Friday and Saturday (July 17-18) from 8pm.

Part of Derby Theatre’s RETOLD series, this production has been conceived and directed by Lucy Skilbeck, and performed by Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer, Drag Idol Champion 2014.

In 1420s France, ravaged by war, under occupation from the English, a population is divided.

18 year-old Joan is a farmer’s daughter, a freedom fighter, and just maybe the original drag king... Dressed as a boy, Joan defies convention and leads her county to freedom, but at what cost?

600 years on, in a world where women ‘dragging up’ as men is distinctly underground, Joan is still ahead of her time.

Expect bold new writing combined with a playful and provocative cabaret style in this one-woman show about what it means to stand alone.

Joan Retold is performed by Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis Cyfer.

LoUis is a cheeky chappy drag king who has been performing in his current form since February 2014. He stormed to success winning the Drag Idol Champion in 2014, which secured him a legion of fans and supporters along the way.

Joan Retold is directed by Lucy J Skilbeck, Derby Theatre’s BBC Performing Arts Fellow 2014, and made in association with Milk Presents.

Lucy said:“Joan is an exploration of identity, determination and courage.

“It’s a modern take on a legend that has been used and abused for centuries.

“I wanted to specifically look at how a woman, an illiterate peasant girl, could achieve such incredible feats at a time when women were relatively powerless. In particular, Joan’s relation with her own masculinity and the men around her, is what I think is key to unlocking her story.

“That’s why it made sense to work with a drag king - because they are always exploring the blurred line between genders.

“Also their performances are always so much fun, and I wanted that playful, cheeky and raucous cabaret feeling for the show which, LoUis CYfer definitely brings.”

Derby Theatre’s RETOLD programme is a series of new one-woman plays commissioned by the venue, from some of the most exciting female voices in contemporary theatre today.

The theatre’s aim is to crack open classic tales and see the story afresh from the perspective of the female character.

In 2014, the theatre premiered the first play in the series, Penelope RETOLD, written and performed by Caroline Horton and directed by Lucy Skilbeck.

It received critical acclaim and secured a national tour in 2015.

The play is recommended for those aged 14 and over.

Tickets are £9.50, concessions £6.50.

For more information and to book tickets please call the box office on 01332 593939 or online at