Theatre review: Vernon God Little

THE MAN sitting behind me laughed uproariously. Volleys and explosions of mirth erupted from other punters nearby. A standing ovation greeted the final curtain. Yet Vernon God Little completely bypassed my own funnybone and that is nothing to do with Decadent’s fine stage adaptation of DBC Pierre’s Booker-winning novel. His brand of humour just doesn’t float my boat.

Teenager Vernon Little lives in the flea–bitten Texan town of Martirio where his best friend has just massacred 16 of his classmates and then killed himself. The hapless Vernon finds himself hounded by lynch mob neighbours, psychiatrists, and the media in a tale that highlights America’s appetite for media sensationalism and rough justice.

Andrew Flynn’s staging enacts the tale on a sparse open stage and features the excellent Jarlath Tivnan in the title role. Little John Nee is another strong presence in the dual roles of Vernon’s twin bugbears - the predatory journalist Lally and headshrinker Dr Goosens. Also featured in the cast are Peter Shine, Kate Murray (as Vernon’s mother ), Eilish McCarthy (as Vernon’s crush, Taylor ), singer-songwriter Tracey Bruen, Eanna O’Dowd, and Tara Finn, all of whom do sterling work in a fine ensemble performance. The rootsy Americana music is another delicious element in the show, contributed by the live accompanists The Lifebouys, and the cast.

I just wish DBC Pierre’s words had made me laugh.

Vernon God Little runs at the Town Hall Theatre up to and includiung Saturday at 8pm.

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