A deceptively simple set of dividing walls with empty shelves revolves constantly, depicting sordid flats, police stations, rehab centres and a gay sauna. Everything - and everyone - on the stage is in almost constant motion; men walk through doors into rooms beyond or slip and bend as they talk. Even in solo sequences, they twist and turn and jerk with restless anxiety as if prompted by some invisible force.
In Anna Fleische's ingenious revolving design, the family home is a house of horrors, a place of dark rooms and narrow spaces where the family are constantly glimpsed in poses like broken plastic dolls...
And the company’s astonishing physicality controls the tone: the stage is in constant, spinning motion and though Langolf’s balletic traversal of it is remarkable, his John is still a slave to the motion, a man not in control of his own life and destiny.
Anna Fleischle’s marvellously fluid revolving set, which seems to echo the dancers’ rhythms.
The Arts Desk
Anna Fleischle’s wonderful simple set, all wooden walls and cupboards and doors, resembles a doll’s house, a home, a prison and a sauna at different times. Every ounce of space is used effectively and the use of the revolve genuinely adds to the sense of the set’s purpose and the complexity of the narrative.
As a piece of dance theatre John is outstanding. Every aspect of stagecraft, from the remarkable stage design by Anna Fleischle, who also designed the costumes, Richard Godin’s lighting design, Gareth Fry’s sound design and the music – supervised by Gabriel Castillo, also one of the performers – is perfectly judged and executed.
The Reviews Hub
Anna Felischle’s continuously revolving set, which becomes a maze of different rooms and settings adds to this whirlpool of darkness.
The Wonderful World of Dance
Anna Fleischle’s set, an almost constantly rotating network of interconnected rooms, is versatile and expressive – when John’s father sexually assaults his sister, for instance, it turns away, evoking the suppression of painful memories.
'...As a piece of dance theatre John is outstanding. Every aspect of stagecraft, from the remarkable stage design by Anna Fleischle, who also designed the costumes... is perfectly judged and executed. It doesn’t feel too much of an exaggeration to say that John is a masterpiece. A blisteringly powerful, superbly executed and performed piece of dance theatre – or indeed any kind of theatre....'.
The Public Reviews, Liverpool
On a revolving stage, John (Hannes Langolf) keeps moving – or moving on – from place to place, door to door. He has to keep moving, because he can’t find a foothold on life. Everyone he meets is like him, beset by problems: addicts, prostitutes, “a community of shoplifters.” They drag each other down. Drugs to depression to crime to jail to depression to drugs. John lives in a tailspin.
"The scenography (by Anna Fleischle) is as straightforward as it is astonishing. An ever rotating, round platform with different rooms unnoticeably changing appearance. "
PREVIEW PRESS Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm
'...Hearts will end up in mouths, hairs stand on end and socks get blown off. John really is that good, that arresting...'
British Theatre Guide, Liverpool
‘Explosive. Magnificently performed.Brilliantly choreographed.
’Der Standard, Vienna Premiere