BWW Review: JOAN, Apple Podcasts

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BWW Review: JOAN, Apple Podcasts

BWW Review: JOAN, Apple PodcastsJoan has big plans: she's going to go to Oxford, become a lawyer, and change the world. While she's too aware of the insignificance of her own life and wants to avoid being a mere drop in the ocean, her mum is holding down three jobs and a multitude of other responsibilities. A diagnosis and the sudden realisation of the inequality of gender roles push the teenager to turn into an overnight global activist.

Cressida Peever writes JOAN, a modern feminist Odyssey influenced by social media and their power. The audiodrama, released on Apple Podcasts at the end of last month, was initially written as a stageplay but clever sound engineering, a great imaginative transposition, and Katharine Farmer's crisp direction make it look like it was born for the audio-led medium.

Just as we're seeing these days with the anti-police brutality protests all over the planet, revolutions require only one spark to start and the one portrayed in Peever's piece is no different. Stephanie Booth's Joan is a headstrong and determined young woman, but - unlike her real-life counterparts - doesn't anticipate the butterfly effect of her actions.

As she takes the popular platform TikTok to vent her frustrations upon seeing the unpaid workload her single mum needs to sustain on top of her paying jobs and the impossibility of scaling it down, she stokes the fires of frustration first in her small town and then in London. But she isn't a leader, and it shows. Her intent and initial actions are good, but a one-day strike in a park transforms into violence and arrests in the capital.

"A riot is the voice of the unheard" Martin Luther King was preaching half a century ago. While the unfair balance in the household is incomparable to the current events, Peever's play has clear resonance at this time anyway. With studies pointing out that even with both parents working from home due to the pandemic, it was still the women who were taking care of the children and house chores, JOAN皇冠代理 hits the bullseye.

With very accessible language and grounded, crystalline style, it depicts the naïveté and goodwill of an average teenager. Social media goes from being a comfortable space to a tool of activism before turning into its worst hateful version, carrying out a horrifying trial by her detractors. Ultimately, the drama is rooted into a marvellous sense of community where women support women regardless of background and status.
In less than an hour, JOAN is able to paint the picture of a developing mother-daughter relationship, the perils of online activism, the escalation of a general unease, and the effects of taking a stand against injustice. It almost feels like listening to the news, but safer and with more heart and flare.


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From This Author Cindy Marcolina