Vernon God Little
Aussie born DBC Pierre’s 2003 Booker prizewinning novel may not be the easiest read, but it makes for irresistibly fast-paced theatre in Tanya Ronder’s attention-grabbing adaptation.
High school student Jesus has gone on the rampage in a small Texas town, killing a clutch of his classmates before turning the gun on himself. Best friend Vernon is accused of being his accomplice and his own mother (her mind focussed on the arrival of a new fridge) seems to have dismissed the possibility that he might be innocent, assuring him that “even murderers are loved by their families” as she takes up with TV-repair man Lally who’s only interested in exploiting the situation to further his own media ambitions.
Haunted by visions of Luke Brady’s guitar-playing, blood soaked Jesus, and with the police snapping at his heels, Vernon absconds from Texas to Mexico, ending up on death row, his fate in the hands of the voting TV audience.
Rufus Norris keeps this biting satirical comedy belting along at breakneck speed, with shopping trolleys and sofas swiftly converted into vehicles, pushed on stage by the versatile cast of trailer trash characters (nothing subtle about this lot!) who regularly break into country and western song or a spot of line dancing. And Joseph Drake makes an impressive professional debut as misfit teenager Vernon in a hugely entertaining evening, unmissable but with darkness at its heart.
Young Vic, The Cut, SE1 8LZ
Tube Southwark / Waterloo
0207 922 2922
Extended till 12th March
£10.00 – £27.50
– Louise Kingsley