Vernon God Little - directed by Leon Wadham
Featuring - Anya Banerjee, Beth Alexander, Bianca Paine, Bronwyn Ensor, Dominique Bela, Dylan Toussaint, Emily Brill-Holland, Genevieve Kent, Hamish Annan, Isaac Cleland, Jarred Blakiston, Jessi Williams, Karen Ellett, Sebastian Dudding, Simon Mead and Sophia Johnson
In this age of American gun violence and Reality TV comes a splittingly caustic black comedy that is both staggeringly perceptive and stupidly salient. Adapted by Tanya Ronder from the Man Booker prize-winning novel, The Actors’ Program and Last Tapes Theatre Company present this Auckland premiere.
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The Actors’ Program and Last Tapes present the Auckland premiere of Vernon God Little at the Basement Theatre, November 16-25.
And what better way to end the year than a biting black comedy about American gun violence? Think South Park meets Bowling for Columbine.
“Vernon is a brilliant comic creation: hapless, unlucky, cynical, often tragic”
– The Guardian
Written in 2001 by celebrated playwright Tanya Ronder as an adaptation of DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize-winning novel, it’s almost stupidly relevant to the current bizarre state of contemporary politics and culture. In Pierre’s own words “I’m not a satirist. Reality has surpassed satire”.
The original novel was described by The Booker Prize judges as a "coruscating black comedy reflecting our alarm but also our fascination with America"
It’s absurd and unsettling, but no more so than the real world.
It’s challenging and entertaining and madcap and heartfelt.
It’s pure theatre, just like the presidential elections.
“Vernon... is like Holden Caulfield on Ritalin”
– The Independent
This production is particularly precious to director Leon Wadham (known for his role in Go Girls), who worked on the NZ premiere of the work in 2010 with Long Cloud Theatre Company under Sophie Roberts and Willem Wassenaar. Fresh from a 2015 directing internship with Roberts and Silo Theatre Company, Wadham is looking to bring the chaotic mania of Pierre’s novel to life with an invigorated troupe of new actors. Wadham say’s “Vernon… is like South Park meets Bowling for Columbine. It has its finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world right now, just turned up to ‘eleven’. It’s a delight”.
The Actors’ Program are optimistic about emerging talent in NZ performing arts, and encourage mentoring to grow a world-class theatre industry. This means working with exciting, fresh new talent, but also bringing in the best in the business to help out. Fittingly, the creative team for Vernon God Little includes Andrew Foster – board member of Wellington’s Circa Theatre and celebrated theatre maker in his own right; Lara Macgregor – ex-Artistic Director of Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre; and Paul McLaney – one of New Zealand’s most influential musicians.
Together with the Basement Theatre, the home of the most exciting emerging voices in Auckland theatre, Last Tapes and The Actors’ Program unfold a show that’s as mad as the present, and a production full of future promise.
Vernon God Little
presented by The Actors’ Program
Basement Theatre, 16-25 November 2016