29 March 2008

DNA by Dennis Kelly

Lea: Ruby Bentall
Brian: Ian Bonar
Mark: Gregg Chillin
Phil: Sam Crane
Jan: Claire Foy
Richard: Troy Glasgow
John Tate: Jack Gordon
Cathy: Claire Lams
A Boy: Ryan Sampson
Danny: Benjamin Smith
Lou - Nicole Charles

Directed by Paul Miller
Designed by Simon Daw

At the Cottesloe in it's first run E23
Celeb in the audience: Sinead Cussack & children(which is quite sweet since dad was next door in the Lyttelton)

From one of the co-writers of Pulling, this is a witting, slightly twisted, fast moving joy of a play and the cast will always remember this moment in their early career.

Now is a good time to mention that the audience were fantastic. There was a real spirit of the entire room staying with these plays from start to finish and the curtain calls were quite frankly, bawdy!

We acertain that a friend has died and whilst he was not murdered, his death was clearly caused by a bit of irresponsible behaviour.

The two most delicious characters are a motor-mouth in the shape of Lea and a quiet, pragmatically cold genius called Phil. The young actors who played these roles were staggering. Phil (Sam Crane) spent the majority of his time eating from what seemed to be an endless supply of snack food from a blue plastic carrier. He was able to maintain speechless action for several minutes at a time while Lea (Ruby Bentall) rattled on, holding both sides of the conversation.

This large circle of friends all feel responsible but all react in a different way. They look to Phil (who some of them don't know at all) for his wise solution at which point he makes his first big speech. His solution is elaborate and delivered with chess board precision. This amazing young actor maintains exactly the same demeanor for an hour which makes him deliciously sinister. Other characters of note are Brian, played by Ian Bonar who I remember from some readings he has done and those huge blue cow eyes. Danny, played by Benjamin Smith is constantly worrying about how this might affect his chances of entering a career in dentistry which forms a very amusing cameo. There is a beautiful young girl, Claire Foy playing Mark's girlfriend Jan who has a delicate touch. Ryan Sampson makes a late but pivotal entry to great effect.

I can't praise this production more highly. The writing is a gift and all these youngsters grasp it and treat it with great precision.