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Review: DNA is a dark twisted tale of a prank gone wrong

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 12 February 2019

Colette McNulty and Sam Rhodes in DNA at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Mark Sepple

Colette McNulty and Sam Rhodes in DNA at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Mark Sepple

Mark Sepple

A group of teenagers are playing in the woods after school - what could possibly go wrong?

DNA written by Dennis Kelly is showing at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Photo: Mark SeppleDNA written by Dennis Kelly is showing at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Photo: Mark Sepple

The answer is a lot, especially with this group of teenagers, who find themselves desperate to cover up a serious crime.

Unlike most people in the audience at the Queen’s Theatre’s showing of DNA on Saturday, February 8, I had not previously read the dark comedy which is a set text on the GCSE English literature and drama curriculum.

Nevertheless, I was soon pulled into the story and the dark twisted world of a group of students who must decide whether to put things right after their misfiring practical joke not only reunites them but starts to make their lives better.

The play is extremely well written, with sharp, witty dialogue that had me laughing at the student’s strange behaviour and equally horrified by the actions of the teenagers.

Colette McNulty and Marko Kovac in DNA at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Mark SeppleColette McNulty and Marko Kovac in DNA at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Mark Sepple

Directed by the Hornchurch theatre’s artistic director, Douglas Rintoul and written by Dennis Kelly, the crime the students have committed is revealed slowly throughout the play.

It’s full of twists and turns and I enjoyed the fact that I was unable to predict the surprise ending.

The young cast, comprising of 11 final year students from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama did an amazing job of bringing the story to life.

In particular, Colette McNulty who plays Leah and Sam Rhodes as her difficult boyfriend Phil, had the audience in fits of laughter with their representation of a very twisted relationship.

They share the stage with Joseph Aylward, Brett Curtis, Mark Foy, Linn Johansson, Marko Kovak, Mae Munuo, William Pyke, Sidsel Rostrup, and Hughie Stanley.

Designer Natalie Jackson is also a graduate from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama who took part in the production along with lighting design by Stephen Pemble and sound design by Jack Baxter.

Whether you’re a GCSE student looking to see your school play brought to life on the stage, or are in the mood for some dark humour, DNA is not one to miss.

DNA is showing at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane until February 14.

Visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call 01708 443333 for tickets.

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