Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Vernon God Little"

Last night, Dave, Tom and I went to see "Vernon God Little" at the Young Vic near Waterloo... and it was smashing. Adapted from the Booker Prize winner by DBC Pierre (which Tom had even read - so he managed to tell us it was a splendid adaptation, but missed a bit out in the second half but nothing too major).

From the website, "It's Friday at the Sheriff's office. Vernon sits in his underpants, staring at his Nikes. His best friend Jesus went and killed all their classmates, then himself. Normal times just ran howling from town." The play really doesn't hide behind it's hands. It starts with a bang and just keeps on going. And considering that it's central topic is the ever controversial one of high school shootings, "Vernon God Little" manages to be very, very funny at the same time.

The use of the stage and props is ingenious (particularly the two cars), but the highlight for me was the inclusion of various cast members bursting into random bursts of accapella, southern-style country songs throughout the show – the best one, by a long shot, being a Mexican interpretation of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire".

"Vernon God Little" has been so well received that the run has been extended by a few weeks, and rightly so. Teenager Colin Morgan is fantastic as Vernon and surely has an amazing career ahead of him? And Mark Lockyer as the detestable but irresistable journalist does an impressive Billy Bob Thornton-style turn. Everything was thoroughly OTT in a heavy-handed media satire kind of way... but if you leave your political correctness at home, you'll really enjoy it.

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