Vernon God Little at The Space
Based on DBC Pierre’s highly successful debut novel, Vernon God Little was originally adapted for the Young Vic by Tanya Ronder in 2007. Having impressed both audiences and critics, her adaptation comes back to life this spring in an remarkable production at The Space.
Directed by Katherine Timms, this is a play full of life, energy and music that touches on some heavy subjects without over-dramatising them. Quite the opposite, the production has managed to fully recreate the dark humour of the novel, making a vastly enjoyable, entertaining piece.
The plot centres on 15-year-old Vernon Little, whose life has been turned upside down after his friend Jesus Navarro massacres 16 of their classmates before turning his gun on himself. With Jesus and all witnesses of the shooting dead, Vernon quickly turns into the town’s scapegoat. Not only is he suspected as an accessory to the murders, but he’s constantly followed by journalist wannabes hungry to launch their TV careers.
Vernon God Little mainly addresses the power of the media, reality TV and tabloid journalism. Bart Edwards is very convincing as reporter Lally who won’t stop at anything to get his high-profile story. Although his character is very entertaining to watch, embodying the signature gestures and manner of speaking of similar reporters gracing our screens, he never turns into a caricature.
Mixing entertainment and the thought-provoking best describes this show. Every character brings some humour to the stage, while disguising something deeper and often darker. The young cast has managed to do that brilliantly; it’s hard to find fault in any of the ten actors who fill the stage. Quickly shifting through different roles, each of them brings a new character to life with a remarkable ease, managing to give them all an unmistakable personality. The result is a very vibrant play full of all sorts of faces. The only actor who never leaves his initial role is naturally our central character – Callum McGowan gives a great, even endearing, performance as Vernon.
Vernon God Little is a play full of surprises. The two-and-half-hour running time passes like a breeze thanks to the gifted young cast, who manage to convey a deeply thought-provoking message through fine acting, music and humour.
Vernon God Little is on at The Space until 11th April 2015, for further information or to book visit here.