Tue | Oct 17, 2017

'JOHN' shows at Palace Sunday

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dance-theatre work explores masculinity

"Bold, involving and utterly unique. Hannes Langolf's central performance is simply devastating in its impact and empathy."

- Daily Telegraph

"You can't leave this performance without being touched by John's life."

- Deutschlandfunk, Germany

On Sunday January 18, at 11:30 a.m, in the Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex cinemas, internationally renowned DV8 Physical Theatre brings their powerful new production JOHN to the National Theatre.

DV8 Physical Theatre has produced 18 highly acclaimed dance-theatre works and four films for television, which have garnered over 50 national and international awards.

JOHN is a work conceived and directed by Australian dancer Lloyd Newson. Brought up in Albury, New South Wales, he graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1978 with a degree in social work and psychology, but had long wanted to pursue a career in dance. He joined the Impulse Dance Theatre, touring Australia with them as both a dancer and choreographer.

After winning a scholarship, he went to London in 1981, and five years later set up his company, DV8 Physical Theatre, a project-based company with which he has subsequently toured internationally.

The production JOHN authentically depicts real-life stories, combining movement and spoken word to create an intense and moving theatrical experience. Lloyd Newson, DV8's artistic director, interviewed more than 50 men asking them frank questions, initially about love and sex. One of those men was John.

According to Newson, he is amazed that John has survived, even though he has suffered so much bereavement in his life and come dangerously close to death. Ironically, Newson says that it was prison that saved John, who became addicted to exercise. "It gave him a sense of shelter and security that he'd lost through years of living on the streets," Newson said.

Extraordinary and touching

What has emerged through Newson's work is a story that is both extraordinary and touching. Years of crime, drug use and struggling to survive lead John on a search in which his life converges with others in an unexpected place, unknown by most.

The play contains adult themes, strong language and nudity.

The National Theatre Live, NT in London, is one of the UK's most prominent publicly funded theatre companies. The theatre presents a varied programme, including Shakespeare and other international classic drama, as well as new plays by contemporary playwrights.

The National Theatre series continues with Treasure Island on Sunday, March 8, at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are on sale at the box office, Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex, and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com with a Palace Card.