French performer films live Instagram feed… while on stage in front of a live audience

Performer Helena de Laurens is currently doing shows in France as a solo act where she performs in front of an audience for two hours. But there’s a twist—she’s also constantly filming for a live feed on Instagram.

The play—“_jeanne_dark_”—is based on the patron saint of France, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc), a 15th century virgin maiden who became a national heroine. De Laurens, 31, plays 16-year-old Jeanne, who lives near the central city of Orleans and finds herself ugly, uncool, feels her parents don’t respect her privacy and is mortified by constant taunts at school over her virginity.

However, while Joan of Arc led a French army to victory against the English at Orleans, her character Jeanne takes her stand on adolescent angst in a live feed on Instagram. In the show, De Laurens holds a smartphone with which she films herself constantly for her live feed.

The live feed is not only broadcasted on Instagram, but it is broadcasted back onto two screens on either side of the theatre stage. Audiences in the theatre could read online viewers’ comments—but I’m personally concerned over how live feedback and delays might be an issue.

“I wanted to give the impression that we’re inside this teenager’s head. I wanted us to hear her inner voices, and not just look in from the outside,” said Marion Siefert, who created, wrote and directed the play.

Siefert also said that the play that was inspired by her teenage years and she wanted to realistically represent “a 16-year-old who would speak up today”. The show is also interactive and a constant shift between reality and fiction as the actress occasionally breaks from her lines and interacts with comments.

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I don’t know whether this idea will spark more to follow in its footsteps, but the show will be on tour next year in March. Ticket prices range from EUR 12 (RM59.10) to EUR 29 (RM142.82). You can also follow the “_jeanne_dark_” Instagram in case she shows up on a live feed and you can bask in her weird and wonderful world.


Dzamira Dzafri