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DNA – Golden Age Theatre Company | Review

It may as well be said right at the start: if you’ve had your share of strong opinions about That EU Referendum this isn’t a show for you. In parts, it is reasonably fascinating – a personal quest to discover why an ancestry DNA test provided the results that it did. It is, however, hardly the stuff of BBC Television’s Who Do You Think You Are? series, and the narrative doesn’t go much beyond any relatives within living memory.

DNA - Golden Age Theatre CompanyImogen (Melanie Thompson) could be construed as conflicted. Having discovered that her heritage could allow her to apply for citizenship of an EU country, she decides she wants to remain (for want of a better word!) in the UK, despite calling it “this nasty little country” and various other putdowns that I suspect both Remainers and Leavers may find rather extreme. For instance, “Brexit Britain” is likened to North Korea. It makes for good theatre, I suppose, to hear such views, and if anything it brings some balance to the idea that only Leavers indulge in narrow-mindedness and judgementalism.

But it also almost completely overshadows Imogen’s personal story. It is difficult to care much for her, her brother (as she calls him – what he actually is would be giving too much away), her mother, and so on, when there are so many digressions, and vitriolic ones at that, against “small-minded bigots” who made up the 52 per cent. As can be the case with monologues, one wonders if there ought to be a response from any of the other characters, and there is potential for a series of monologues of the same story from different perspectives.

Whilst it is undeniably clear what Imogen is against, there’s comparatively little to discover about what she is for, especially when she decides to stay put after all rather than make a fresh start in a society apparently completely devoid of “morons”. Even with a 27 minute running time, it still feels as though Imogen takes too long to raise her middle finger at everyone who voted differently to her.

Still, there are pockets of intriguing insights into how some younger people think and a few ideas with regards to how the country (the global pandemic aside) has ended up where it is now. As with some other online monologues from the Golden Age Theatre Company, a change of background scenery from scene to scene is most welcome. Interestingly, this isn’t billed as a political play, however, that is precisely what it is.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter
Performed by Melanie Thompson
Edited by Howard White
Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Golden Age Theatre Company on YouTube

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