“Johnny Got His Gun is a brilliant masterpiece which everyone has to
“Johannes Holopainen makes the audience eat from his hands”
“This might be the most powerful theatre experience in my life”
-Paljon melua tyhjästä
“Holopainen´s presence is huge. He's nailing the audience to their seats with small tricks, but even without the physical contact he´s on our skin all the time” -Demokraatti
Johnny got his gun is a solo performance based on Dalton Trumbo´s iconic novel
(1939). It's an unforgettable and current story about a 19 year old Joe who wakes
up in a hospital somewhere in the world after an explosion in the first world war.
Joe discovers that he is now nothing but a torso, a living dead, and starts
desperately to seek for a contact to get his story told in the world full of wars.
In the performance he's sharing his life and tragedy with the audience, who will be
taken for an emotional journey throughout the 20th century. Johnny, who has lost
everything when fighting in the name of freedom and economic growth, is now
ready to question all the things he has been taught and dreamed of. It's time for
the last battle, for the things that really matter.
Johnny got his gun was first premiered in February 2015 in Lappeenranta city
theatre and has been touring ever since in theaters, venues and festivals in Finland
and Estonia, such as The National theatre, KOM theatre and Stoa.
It has got a praising feedback and won the Grand Prix at Monomaffia Festival in
Pärnu, Estonia 2016. Written and directed by Essi Rossi, sound design by
Pauli Riikonen and performed by Johannes Holopainen it´s a performance that is
now more important than ever.
Essi Rossi Pauli Riikonen Johannes Holopainen
Essi Rossi (f. Räisänen) is a finnish theatre director who lives in Helsinki and works
variously with theatre and live arts. Her works are more or less tied to the question of
change in the era of mass destruction and desires, and she is driven by candid ways of
working with these themes. Besides Johnny got his gun, her most important works are
Tainaron, transmissions from the posthuman world of insects (based on Leena Krohn´s
novel, Helsinki Festival and Finnish National theatre 2018), ICE about the structures of
fascism in a form of a cult-meeting (based on Vladimir Sorokin´s trilogy, Klockriketeatern
and Von Krahl, Estonia 2018) and NIGHTSCHOOL, an overnight journey to an unknown
destination, beliefs and thoughts about change, eco crisis and future (Live Arts Society
and Stage Festival 2017).
Her latest performance Ejaculation -Discussions About
Female Sexuality was part of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 program at Summerhall
premiered both in Finnish National Theatre Finland and Brux Freies Theater Innsbruck
Pauli Riikonen is finnish sound designer and composer who has been working widely
in a the field of performing arts. Riikonen graduated from Finish Theater Academy in
2011 from department of light and sound design. He has made sound and music for
theater, dance, performance and visualized concerts. Occasionally he also does video
and radio works and work as an performer or musician in performing art productions.
Riikonen has worked in Helsinki based production houses Kiasma and Teatteri
Takomo and at the moment he s working as freelancer.
Johannes Holopainen is a Finnish actor best known for his performances in films Unknown Soldier (2017) and Heavy Trip (2018). Holopainen studied at the Theatre Academy of Helsinki and began his professional career at a young age. His work includes awarded audience and critic favourites both on screen and on stage: Unknown Soldier (2017), Heavy Trip (2018), Pasi Was Here (KOM-Theatre 2016), HOMO! (Finnish National Theatre 2011), Johnny Got His Gun (Lappeenranta City Theatre 2015-) among others. Johannes is the leading actor of the 2019 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize-nominated drama All The Sins, which premieres in April 2019.
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BASED ON DALTON TRUMBOS NOVEL
ADAPTED AND DIRECTED BY ESSI ROSSI
SOUND DESIGN BY PAULI RIIKONEN
PERFORMED BY JOHANNES HOLOPAINEN
JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN IS A FURIOUS AND FRAGILE
PASIFISTIC MANIFEST. YOUNG JOE BONHAM FOUGHT FOR
FREEDOM AND LOST EVERYTHING. HE WAKES UP A TORSO
AFTER A CENTURY OF WAR TO TELL HIS STORY.