A Number

3
Caryl Churchill's play on the potential perils of cloning
By Edfringe16 - 17th Aug 2016

A NumberThis episodic play looks at what might happen in a world where cloning of humans is possible (and legal) and puts the nature versus nurture debate into a new perspective. Over a series of scenes we learn that a father discovered that his son had "turned out bad" but felt that it was because he hadn't brought him up correctly so he abandoned him and had a clone son created whom he could cherish and make "good". Unfortunately a "mad scientist" decide to make quite a few copies so there are now some 20 or so people with identical DNA.

Rather than exploring all of the possibilities we concentrate on the father's real and substitute sons, having the actual sequence of events drip fed to us as the play progresses. There is no conclusion as such, we are left to ponder the morale issues raised in our own time. A lovely little gem of a play which I found fascinating. The son(s) is/are played by one actor who did a great job of differentiating their personalities though I found the father somewhat young and not as confident in his characterisation. I was also concerned by the table (the only furniture is two chairs and a table) which didn't seem like the sort of thing anyone would have in their home - it wobbled worryingly and I hope it survives the run!

The little basement studio in C-Nova is a great space but far too hot to be remotely comfortable ..... the lack of air overtook all other conversation for the departing audience .. a shame


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