With the sparse setting of the corner of a field strewn with rubbish, complete with abandoned seats accompanied by urban grime music in the background, there is no doubt that DNA by Dennis Kelly is going to be an edgy, modern play. It centres around a gang of tough misfits dealing with the consequences of a practical joke that ends in tragedy. How they deal with the subsequent guilt of their actions and the group mentality that follows is compelling stuff.
This haunting story has echoes of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies – not always to everyone’s taste, but a strong tale well told is always going to be an entertaining and thought-provoking night out. The young people in the cast are no doubt extremely nice people, but the way they dealt with their hard, bullying characters was strong and convincing and director Georgette Ellison has done a superb job in drawing out the darker side of her cast’s characters!
Performing in the small Green Room at the Plaza Theatre could be intimidating for many actors, but not one flicker of nerves or uncertainty is evident from any member of the cast. Each performer is confident in their delivery in an often fast-paced dialogue as the gang try to bully and lie their way out of their horrific situation.
Anna Mitchell, doubling up as fierce bully JD and Eve, and Amelia Treasure as the young Brianie, whose involvement in the delinquency tips her, giggling hysterically, over the edge, were both convincing in their roles. So was Keren Belwand (Sam), whose portrayal of unrequited love for the silent loner Joe (maturely dealt with by Oliver Jones) was mesmerising – from her constant failed attempts to draw him into conversation to the nervous flicking of the elastic bands on her wrist.
What a wealth of talent for the future there is in Romsey! These gifted young people deserve an appreciative audience.
Future performances: 22-25 February at 7.30.