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Green Man is ultimate test for one-man show

Malvern Editorial 15th Aug, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MALVERN’S John Bannister will be bringing his one-man show ‘Oh, She was a Hypercube’ to the Green Man Festival in Wales this weekend.

He spoke to Lee Farley – the Observer’s entertainment reviewer – ahead of the event

“I refer to the show as a portrait of my mind, “ John said. “It’s an attempt to capture an emotional journey in my life, chronicling everything my mind did to stop me from feeling the emotional part.”

“The show is still very young, and I need to perform it a thousand more times before I know what works. It will always be that piece in my back pocket that I can perform with a set of four dimensional flip books and a loaf of bread.”

The 24-year-old grew up in Malvern and became involved in school plays at the Grove and The Chase where he studied drama for GCSE and A-Level. Local amateur theatre companies also gave him opportunities and when Perfect Circle Youth Theatre formed in 2006, he threw himself straight into their projects appearing in, devising and directing a number of shows. It was this experience which influenced him to switch from a maths degree to theatre studies.

John gives some valuable advice for those living in Malvern in need of some creative inspiration; he said: “Walk on the Malvern Hills as much as you can, especially if you’re going to move away. They really are something special.”

Now living in Brighton, John has plenty of other projects on the go in addition to his current show. He is developing some gender-swapping ideas for Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, promoting Brighton Digital Festival and he is already starting to think about future productions.

“My next project, which is just getting started, is looking at collaborative storytelling games.

“I’m hoping to refine existing tools and possibly create new ones for people to encourage communities to role-play and express themselves, especially for more introverted participants.

“I’m meeting so many exciting companies I’m currently trying to find extra hours in the day to make projects happen.”

John added that he is very much looking forward to performing his latest show, which involves audience interaction, puppetry and mathematical concepts, in front of a large festival crowd at Green Man.

“I will have no idea who is in the audience and they will have no idea what to expect.

“This is the ultimate test for the piece, to get feedback from people that have no reason to watch it and very little marketing to encourage them to give it a try beyond the first two minutes.

“Plus I now get to say I’m on the same line-up as Neutral Milk Hotel.”

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