Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vernon God Little - Young Vic

In the wake of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech there was some muted rumblings that perhaps it was the wrong time for the Young Vic to be staging an adaptation of DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little. Set as it is in the wake of a Columbine type school shooting. In fact there is no better time. There is no better time for this biting satire of how the media exploits such tragedies (or as James has pointed out those like the abduction of Madeleine McGann).

This is a vibrant, violent and at times vicious play, that is by turns darkly comic and just plain dark. Tanya Ronders adaptation uses a mixture of fast paced dialogue and songs allied to Rufus Norris' pacy and physical production conveys the confused nightmare that Vernon finds himself in after he is wrongly accused of helping his best friend murder 17 of his classmates. A nightmare where reality TV ratings are more important than any sense of truth or justice.

There isn't a weak performance amongst the 9 strong cast, who between them play a cacophony of ever more grotesque characters. Special mention must go to Mark Lockyer who chews up the scenery as Lally the slimy TV reporter and Colin Morgan who despite this being his professional debut has the stage presence to be able to hold the whole production together as Vernon.

This production hardly hits a bum note throughout its two and a bit hours (give or take the odd dodgy Mexican accent) and is both very funny and shocking. Go and see it.


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