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

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

By Grania McFadden

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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