Writer: Lee Mattinson
Director: Laura Lindow
Reviewer: Jennie Smith
The Public Reviews Rating:
The small main stage of The Live Theatre in Newcastle is perfect for Donna Disco, an intimate, comic and often emotional portrayal of a 14 year old girl told in one act. Paula Penman plays Donna, a 14 year old misfit with no friends and a mother she rarely sees, many of the trials faced by Donna are easily recognisable thanks to the vivacity and details descriptions given by our unlikely heroine.
As with all one woman productions Donna Disco is entirely performed by the brilliant and enigmatic Paula Penman, but Donna is not the only character we meet, Six further characters are cleverly portrayed using a variety of devices including toys and sock puppets.
A simple set consisting of 2 chairs, 1 stool, 1 standing lamp and an old fashioned school desk complete with graffiti are utilised well within the piece with The lamp rather strangely utilised as both a set piece and a costume.
The only real flaw with this production is in its staging, due to the layout of the theatre and the nature of the piece, Paula Penman spends short amounts of time with her back to the extremes of the audience, on the whole this doesn’t cause a problem but occasionally it meant lines were missed despite the volume and clarity of her speech, whilst this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the play, it is something that can be easily fixed.
Donna Disco is funny and moving, It’ll have you laughing from start to finish, even in the most poignant moments laughter isn’t too far away,a very good production and highly recommend getting down to see it while you can.