DUENDE was established in 2010 to create interdisciplinary physical performance rooted in ensemble and shared training.

The first production was ‘The Shattering Man’ - a reimagining of ‘Macbeth’ told from the perspective of The Porter who, decades later, seeks to recall the events in which he was a bit-player. The production performed for two weeks in Huddersfield (UK) where John was then an academic.

In 2011, DUENDE created a solo performance - ‘Echo Chamber’ - based on Buchner’s play ‘Woyzeck’. This production toured over a couple of years, with performances in Huddersfield, Bradford, Leeds, Athens, Thessaloniki, Bangalore and Melbourne.

For a number of years DUENDE then focussed on making work with students - including ‘Re:Occupation’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘1984’ (all at Huddersfield University UK) and on performing occasional ‘Collisions’. During this period DUENDE was also developing and starting to deliver The DUENDE School of Ensemble Physical Theatre.

In 2018 DUENDE announced the start of a long-term performance project: Urban Animal. The first chapter of Urban Animal (‘The Hour of the Mayfly’) was created and performed in Athens in September 2018. Further chapters will be created over the next 8 years and will culminate int he creation of an 8-hour, through-the-night performance experience reimagining the relationship between Humans and their biosphere.


Collision is an occasional performance project created by DUENDE, travelling to the heart of live performance. Collision is about bodies meeting in space – physical space, aural space, psychic space. Collisions take place when at least three members of DUENDE are in the same place at the same time. A collision performance combines structure and improvisation and is an unashamedly live and risky process of creating something from nothing.

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Urban Animal

Humans are animals. Through thousands of years we evolved, integral to a natural world. We learned to observe, respond to, and survive inside the complex web of our eco-system. We took what we needed and did not take what we did not need.

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