Derby Theatre hails JOAN’s triple award success

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JOAN - a Milk Presents production in association with Derby Theatre and Underbelly Untapped - which received a hugely popular preview at Derby Theatre last year, has scooped a tremendous triple of awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Written and directed by Lucy J Skilbeck, and performed by Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer, Drag Idol Champion 2014, JOAN hit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in spectacular style this year and has taken it by storm by scooping three prestigious awards.

During its smash-hit festival run, JOAN was awarded the Scotsman Fringe First Award, an award to recognise and celebrate the best and most outstanding new work and writing on the Fringe; The Stage Edinburgh Award, awards which recognise outstanding performances; and The Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe Award, one of the Festival’s longest running awards whose previous winners include Ross Noble, Ed Byrne, The League of Gentlemen and Omid Djalili.

JOAN has also proved hugely popular with audiences, bloggers and the press alike with The Scotsman, maker and breaker of careers, awarding the show four stars, describing it as “Powerful, dynamic and irreverent”; Festmag published it as number 1 in their theatre reviews giving it a whopping five stars, and saying “a bruising, brilliant show”; four star reviews from The Stage, Broadway Baby, British Theatre Guide, and 4.5 stars in from The Reviews Hub.

Sarah Brigham, chief executive and artistic director, Derby Theatre, said: “Milk Presents are a company I have supported since they first graduated and their founders have also worked for us at Derby Theatre in a freelance capacity in a number of roles.

“The reason we have supported them is because we could see straight from the off that this was a company with promise, and their success at Edinburgh this year has paid testament to this. Milk Presents make work that has the unique combination of being highly entertaining, accessible and with something urgent to say about the world in which we live.

“Our audiences loved JOAN and they packed the house with people from across our community who loved their sharp wit and beautiful poetry. I’m really looking forward to seeing what their next show will be.”

So what is JOAN all about?

Put your drinks down and your hands together, all the way from Domremy in France (via Soho and 600 years) it’s JOAN! An earthy story of courage, conviction and hope, this is Joan of Arc - quite possibly the world’s first drag

king. Packed with guts, heart and some well-placed couscous, JOAN fuses lyrical new writing with quick wit and cabaret prowess.

Performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis CYfer, and brought together by the ever-probing and playfully anarchic Milk Presents, JOAN is a fearless play about what it means to stand out, stand up and stand alone

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