Joanna of Castile


Joanna of Castile is a feminist historical tragedy, inspired by the true story of “Joanna la Loca.” The daughter of Ferdinand & Isabella (who started the Spanish Inquisition), Joanna was well-educated, intelligent, and rebellious. When she came to inherit the throne in 1504, her father and husband conspired to usurp her power by claiming she was mad and locking her away.

Telling the story from Joanna’s perspective, we imagine her as a woman on a quest for freedom and agency, dodging the obstacles that patriarchy, religion, and misogyny throw at her. With shades of Wicked, SIX, and Evita, the show will appeal to contemporary audiences, especially people interested in history, politics, women’s rights, and mental health.

Ciara McGovern, Pearse O’Donaghue, and Brian Raftery in Joanna of Castile.


SIAMSA VARIETY NIGHT 31 AUGUST 2023: we presented a 30-minute concert reading of Joanna of Castile at the Toulouse Lautrec jazz club. Produced by Joe O’Neill, and featuring performers Ciara McGovern, Pearse O’Donaghue, and Brian Raftery.

CURRENTLY: developing the show into a 50-60 minute chamber musical for three actors and piano, which can tour to theatre festivals.


Tom James McGrath (book, music & lyrics) is a composer-lyricist from Tipperary, Ireland. His background is in classical and Irish folk music. He has a master’s degree in contemporary composition from Trinity College, Dublin. His musicals have been performed in the Camden Fringe, London and Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Tom works part-time as an NHS doctor. He is a member of the Book, Music & Lyrics workshop. @HeyTomJames

Amy Clare Tasker (book & lyrics) is a theatre maker and musical theatre writer. She works with her own company Pinecone Performance Lab, and with The Cockpit, where she produces the Voila! Europe Theatre Festival and the Theatre Maker artist development programme. Since moving to London in 2013, her work has been seen at Rich Mix, Camden People’s Theatre, Shoreditch Town Hall, artsdepot, Theatre Deli, The Cockpit, and the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival. Amy has a BA in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the Book, Music & Lyrics workshop, Mercury Musical Developments, and Musical Theatre Network. @AmyClareTasker