John is the latest production from Outhouse, and the third Annie Baker play that this company has presented, after Aliens and Flick. Baker is a multi-award winning contemporary playwright and her plays are naturalistic in style, focusing on the complexities of relationships. The previous plays were wonderful in every category and won many accolades. This production is likely to be an even bigger prize winner. It is really exquisite.
‘John’ has already been reviewed and I concur with all the praise. This play is an embarrassment of riches. It is so well directed, acted and staged that the ticket price seems absurdly low.
Craig Baldwin directs this piece with tremendous sensitivity and nuance. There is a metaphysical element to the story which enhances the depth of the experience, but the exploration of the relationships between the characters is really at the heart of the piece.
Belinda Giblin is luminous on stage. Like Cate Blanchett in her ‘Streetcar’ performances she is mesmerising. It would seem that her range is infinite- she inhabits her characters so well that one is never watching ‘Belinda’. Maggie Blinco is wonderfully entertaining as her friend, and the troubled couple, James Bell and Shuang Hu are completely convincing.
The production is spectacular. Really spectacular. I am not a fan of the STC style faux marble staircase sets, but this play, set in a B+B in Gettysburg, really benefits from the intricate set that the producer Jeremy Waters has conjured up. It is pure magic.
The play has so much to explore and is one that I will continue to reflect upon for many days. Do not miss it!!!