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DNA

DNA

Dennis Kelly

16 - 18 June 2011

Matt Haynes

A group of teenagers do something bad, really bad, then panic and cover the whole thing up.

Double bill with Sparkleshark


Synopsis

A group of teenagers do something bad, really bad, then panic and cover the whole thing up. But when they find that the cover-up unites them and brings harmony to their once fractious lives, where’s the incentive to put things right?

DNA was first performed in the Cottesloe Theatre of the National Theatre on 16 February 2008. The play was commissioned by NT Education as part of its Connections project. Consistent traits in Kelly’s work are strong women, violence, fantasy and flexible identities.

For DNA Kelly said in an interview:
"This concept of a flexible identity was something I wanted to explore in a play. DNA was originally written for the National Theatre’s Connections project, which pairs young actors with new writing. It was to be performed by more than 40 different youth groups across the country, and when I wrote it, I stipulated that all the characters’ genders and names could be changed according to the groups’ needs. John could become Jane, or Leah could become Lee. I reasoned that there isn’t the huge gap between men and women that we like to think there is. We are different, yes, but our similarities far outweigh our differences. One quite angry youth leader took me to task over this, insisting that girls and boys were practically different species, and this could never work. But the interesting thing was that, with all the different cast configurations I went on to see, I forgot the original sex of the character I’d written within 10 minutes"