Superjohn is a fast moving, visually creative show which follows the story of a young boy awaiting an operation in hospital. In his dreams he imagines himself to be a superhero fighting a number of different villains. Meanwhile on the outside world his sister has to decide whether she will join him on his journey. It’s a refreshingly different type of children’s show as it does not shy away from the rather serious and sombre subject matter. However in doing so the show seems to miss out on a lot of the fun factor. The whole subplot of John being a superhero is nicely performed and energetic but I fear may be too abstract for the age group this production is aimed at.
Halfway through the show I overheard a girl behind me ask her father what was going on, he shushed her and I think it may of been because he himself wasn’t too sure. The story is something you could expect if cult film director David Cronenberg decided to create a children’s show. It’s a completely surreal landscape that is created when we enter the imaginary world based inside our protagonist’s body as he battles a woman dressed as a blood vessel.
The show has some wonderful ideas that just seem to be misplaced within this production, it is well directed, there’s some excellent use of sound effects and the cast perform very well. For all its visual bravado however, it was just a little too confusing for the youngsters judging from the stunned silence coming from the audience as we left the auditorium. The only moment the children in the audience seemed to lap up was a nicely performed moment where two of the characters are playing football. Perhaps a little less of the abstract next time is all it takes.