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Vernon God Little: Adaptation of Pierre's novel is a must-see

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

By Grania McFadden

Published 06/11/2015

Decadent Theatre return to the Lyric Theatre with Tayna Ronder's sparky adaptation of Pierre's book
Decadent Theatre return to the Lyric Theatre with Tayna Ronder's sparky adaptation of Pierre's book

Welcome back, Vernon Little. The Texan teenager who made his first dazzling appearance in DBC Pierre's novel back in 2003, is back with a bang. The story of a teenager caught up in a high school massacre won his creator the Booker Prize, and divided the literary world with the foul-mouthed, poetic depictions of a fugitive from justice.

Now Decadent Theatre return to the Lyric Theatre with Tayna Ronder's sparky adaptation of Pierre's book.

The play centres on 15-year-old Vernon (played by Jarlath Tivnan), who finds himself at the centre of a police hunt following the massacre of 16 students by his friend Jesus. His declarations of innocence fall on deaf ears in a community that's quick to follow the lead of crooked TV reporter Ledesma (Little John Nee). "Normal times just ran howling from the town."

Pierre's script fizzes with surprises - his novel has a cartoon quality to it, and director Andrew Flynn manages to bring a similar comic feel to the town's characters - neurotic housewives obsessed with cookies and kitchenware; law-enforcers in big hats and shiny badges.

Underscoring the action is a fabulous live soundtrack performed by musical trio The Lifebuoys while Flynn's direction is crisp and Tivnan's performance engaging.

Vernon departs as he arrived - to the strains of Patsy Cline's Crazy. It's a mad and decadent world. Go see.

GRANIA McFADDEN

Belfast Telegraph

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