18 January 2012
Some say that your schooling days are the 'best days of your life'. Well myself and Donna can have something to say about that- the total reverse. It is never brilliant being the outcast, the bullied one, and the person that is always at the forefront of everybodys sniggers and catcalls.
Donna Disco is the funny,sad and very emotional story of the bespectacled schoolgirl, who encounters all the strife and strain that even a woman double her age would struggle with.
A rollercoaster upbringing with a dead father and a 'woman of the world' mother doesn't bring much comfort when the school bell rings on an afternoon.
Friends are hard to come by for Donna, so when a school project comes about to source a stranger's story at the annual Christmas Pageant, she delights herself in choosing the cross-dressing butcher from downstairs to her-somebody that lets her have her say, doesn't judge and lets her have all the fun that she wants.
With a simple set up of a school desk, chairs and a standard lamp, Paula Penman -who plays the 14 year old Donna uses the small stage at the very comfortable Live Theatre, to her full advantage. The use of furry props to bring the characters of the play alive, makes this more than just the brilliant one-woman play that it is.
A brilliant soundtrack of Donna's favourite music accompanies the proceedings that had me singing along-albeit in my head. We in the audience were also connected to what was happening on the stage by being furnished with glasses to wear and instructions to join in with party poppers at a given point-a really great fun factor approach.
A superb crisp and emotive script by Lee Mattinson, directed by Laura Lindow, had the audience in both fits of laughter and despair. Penman was a delight in conveying her heartfelt story, with great acting and realism.
The sound and lighting of the Live has never been anything but top class, no different this time-it really added to the occasion.
I would say that this was 60 minutes of perfectness, I really enjoyed it!
Bring your man-sized box of hankies, you will need them.
Donna Disco runs until Saturday 21st.