22nd April 2015
Writing: Louis Williams (Year 10)
In the conclusion of our course, this week the nine man strong Year 11 GCSE Drama group performed our adaption of the play DNA, by Dennis Kelly. It had been a long process reaching this point, involving many late nights of furious writing sessions and countless hours locked away in the confines of the studio. However, all this work did pay off and we successfully managed to complete our performance to a packed and enthralled crowd of teachers and students alike in an action-packed exploration of character and the dark side of human nature.
Given a title of DNA, you might assume that science played a part in the story, yet to the horror of a startled Biology teacher or two, who had sat down looking forward to a jovial 45 minutes of education and enrichment, the opening lights instead revealed the scene of a brutal murder.
If you missed the enigmatic posters dotted around the school, then you missed out on an electrifying evening of murder, rebirth and - ‘wow, I didn’t see that one coming’ - more murder. With plot twists galore and unexpected drum solos this piece used every conceivable dramatic strategy to surprise and delight the audience.
DNA follows a group of friends who, in a night of drunken revelry, accidentally killed their friend Adam. With the group in shock, it eventually takes the level-headed leader of the group, Phil, to cover up their blunder and craftily assign blame to an elderly postman - ‘What’s one man’s misfortune to all of ours?’. Unbeknownst to the group however, Adam is in fact alive! Yet mad. Once this startling discovery is made it only makes sense to kill him again - ‘Why jeopardise everyone?’ - and so this is what they do.
This one-night wonder was great fun for all the actors involved and we hope it served as some measure of inspiration to students in lower years to take up Drama GCSE - a decision we have not regretted - and to the Year 10s, who are lucky enough to have the very same experience coming up in their next year at Challoner's.
DNA was a play of many ideas. It showed the morally good and downright evil side of human nature, and it begged the question, are we all capable of murder? Is it something that circumstance leads us to, or is it in our DNA?