Performance Preview: This clone wars is truly thrilling

Not sure whether it was good timing on behalf of Hollywood, but did you know that the film Multiplicity and Dolly the Sheep both came out in July 1996.

But the Michael Keaton vehicle failed to capitalise, paying the price for playing one of humanity’s most ethical minefields for laughs. Overshadowed by a lamb, young Dolly even robbed it of its sci-fi genre.

Fortunately for Caryl Churchill, she chose the more serious approach in her 2002 play about a neglectful father (Ian Burns) who chose to clone his disruptive five-year-old son Bernard after sending him away shortly after the death of his mother.

Some 35 years later, Bernard (Rasmus Emil Mortensen) returns to confront his father, and it quickly emerges there might be more than one clone.

Churchill’s examination of human identity rings true with a modern age that arguably started with the birth of Dolly.

Eternal life, albeit through clones, is suddenly on the agenda. At a time when the world is increasingly our oyster, our destiny could no longer be ours to control.

“This contains more drama, and more ideas, than most writers manage in a dozen full-length works,” enthuses That Theatre’s founder, Ian Burns, who has recruited Helen Parry, his first ever drama teacher, to put him through his paces.

“Part psychological thriller, part topical scientific speculation, and part analysis of father-son relationships, this is a tremendous play: moving, thought-provoking and dramatically thrilling.”





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