• Amy Toledano

Joan of Leeds presented by Breach Theatre

What is it?

Breach Theatre company’s latest play, which is also a Christmas show. The show runs straight through at 70 minutes and is a musical, theatrical bonanza based on nuns, sexual repression and liberation.

What is it about?

It is 14th century, Leeds, and Joan is having unearthly visions and evil sexual compulsions. She is banished to a convent in a bid to change her ways but decides to fake her death to escape and be free. A nun on the run as they quite rightly say at the beginning, this is the plot for an amateur theatre company’s alternative Christmas show which as a device allows huge scope for mischief, mayhem and mistakes which result in the funniest Christmas (or anti-Christmas show) I have ever seen.

How did it make me feel?

Probably the most sexually liberated and enlightened I’ve ever felt coming out of a Christmas show. This production really is camper than Christmas and a joy to watch from start to finish. There truly is nothing else like this out there which is reason to be interested alone, but combining its uniqueness with exquisite comic timing by all cast members, excellent vocals, catchy songs, and a witty and punchy script this really is something special that I hope has reincarnations over future festive periods.

Anything else?

There are no weak links when it comes to Joan of Leeds- all production aspects join together to create a wonderful evening of entertainment that had myself and every audience member (in the packed out seating bank) laughing at every turn. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a true and relevant message at it's heart that really shone through the pandemonium and was clearly visible at it's core. The set, direction, writing, acting, music, was all brilliant! It’s clever, progressive, inclusive, outrageous and fabulous... I’d go again and again if I could and I look forward to bringing all of my friends along next year if there’s a revival.

Sophie x

Joan of Leeds is playing at New Diorama until the 21st December 2019.

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