Teens keep a dark secret in new thriller DNA

Teens keep a dark secret in new thriller DNA

Teens keep a dark secret in new thriller DNA

First published in Theatre Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

How far would you go to hide the truth?

Dennis Kelly’s DNA follows the story of a gang of teenagers and a terrible secret they have sworn to conceal.

As the pressure mounts, relationships will fray, the innocent are punished and the conspirators must decide whether to come out and face the music.

Kelly, who wrote the play as part of the National Theatre’s Connections Programme, says he wanted to recreate the claustrophobic fear and drama that is part of a teenager’s life.

He says: "In DNA, I wanted to create a world without adults.

"In some ways, I write very autobiographically. DNA is connected to a particular period of my adolescence when someone new came into my circle of friends at school and we turned from human beings into this pack of animals.

"There were these concentric rings of popularity. If you were at the centre, that was a good place to be, but you always knew you could be pushed to the outside. When you were on the outside, that was horrible. That's what DNA is about."

A core set-text on the GCSE English syllabus, DNA is studied by up to 400,000 students each year.

Keely says: "I'm amazed by it! It's great that there's a set text by someone writing at the moment, and I'm glad that someone is me, but it's a bit humbling.

"There are a lot of other playwrights they might have thought about first. I know what I think about the play, but it may not be anything to do with what the examining board think. Plays are weird in that they live separately from the writer."

Hull Truck Theatre has assembled a cast of up-and-coming talent for the production including James Alexandrou, Martin Fowler in EastEnders, Emily Butterfield from Treasure Island and The Canterbury Tales and Rhys Jennings, of the BBC Radio Company.

Performances of DNA are at 7.45pm nightly between March 8 and 10 with a Schools Performance on Friday 9th at 1pm.

Tickets are available from the Fairfield Box Office 020 8688 9291 or online at www.fairfield.co.uk priced £16, Under 16’s £10, Family Ticket £45, Schools £8.50 per ticket.

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