Monday, May 21, 2007

Vernon God Little, Young Vic

Given recent events in Virginia, this may not seem the ideal time to be staging a show whose background is a high school massacre. (Incidentally, I apply the same logic to plays about the Iraq war. Oh, wait, hang on...)

In turning a first-person narrative into drama, Ronder (the adaptor) inevitably sacrifices some of the throwaway brilliance of Pierre's prose: this is the essence of theatre being different to books. No play can match such lines, saying of a bus-station oldster, "the skin of his face hangs down in pockets, like he has lead implants". No play.

Even if the structure, like the frankly perplexing grammatical construction of this sentence, is fragmented, Rufus Norris's production also captures the contrast between Texan materialism and the impoverished gaiety of the Mexico to which the hero flees. Imagine how much easier it would have been without all that nasty fragmentation though.

The acting is good.

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