Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Saint Joan

Shaw's account of the rise and fall of the curious saint, 'Saint Joan', is a peculiar beast.  It is a battle of two sides, each obsessed with religion, told by an atheist.  Shaw's dialogue is clear, angular, and a delight, but his characters never seem more than mouth pieces.  Don't read this play looking for an insight into the historical figure; Joan starts out a 'saint' and ends a 'saint' and experiences nothing by way of character development along the way.  This is very much a play of ideas, and not the worse for that.
I am always a little bemused by the amount of attention lavished on Wilde, O'Casey, Yeats, Beckett and all the other Irish greats, while Shaw seems to get just a perfunctory once off revival every now and again or a brief aside on how clever he was.  He wrote over 60 plays after all.  Shouldn't we see more of them?  Or maybe it's just I haven't devoted enough attention to him.  (I've spent more time inside his namesake pub than reading him, I will admit.)  Well, there's a New Year's resolution for me!

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