Act 1 Summary 

  • Scene 1: Mark and Jan talk about  someone is ‘dead’.
  • Scene 2: Phil eats, whilst Leah eats , she wants answers to know what Phil is thinking.
  • Scene 3: John Tate is stressed and attempts to ban others from using the word ‘dead’.  He attempts to keep control over the group by using the fear method.  Richard disagrees with his leadership but this is shutdown . Mark and Jan arrive and explain to the group their version of events leading up to Adam falling into the grille. Attempting to justify their vicious attack on him by saying he provoked them by laughing. Phil speaks and devises a plan to frame a non-existent person.
  • Scene 4: A key quote is said by Leah , who talks about bonobos being our nearest relatives.  ‘Chimps are evil.  They murder each other…they kill and sometimes torture each other to find a better position within the social structure’ .  This being the author’s mouthpiece about how he feels about the nature of bullies.

Act 2

  • Scene 1: The audience are told that someone is ‘not going’…this is a clear hint that Brian isn’t going to the police station
  • Scene 2: Leah is attempting to get Phil’s attention.  She discusses about the nature of happiness and shows him a Tupperware container and says it is Jerry.  She explains how she has killed him.
  • Scene 3: The police find a man that fits the description of the man that Phil concocted because Cathy used her ‘initiative’ to find a man that matched the description.  Their plan goes wrong with Brian refusing to go into the police station to identify the man who is being framed.  Phil aggressively demands he go,  if he doesn’t go. Brian goes after hearing he’ll be taken up to the grille if he refuses. 
  • Scene 4: Leah talks with Phil, this time she shows signs déjà vu.          

Act 3

  • Scene 1:  Mark and Jan reveal Cathy has ‘found someone’ in the woods. This person being Adam.
  • Scene 2: Leah enters with a packed suitcase.  She attempts to get Phil’s  attention by threatening to leave and telling him not to try and stop her, to her frustration he doesn’t.  She explains  about Adam’s memorial and that she has seen Cathy on the TV.  She informs him that everyone is happier ‘funny this is they’re all actually behaving better as well….’ 
  • Scene 3: Adam is found alive and has been living in a hedge, to their surprise.  He has survived by living off dead animals.  He has sustained a head injury, which causes Phil to tell Jan, Mark and Lou to leave and not say anything.  He explains to Cathy how to kill Adam by tying a plastic bag around Brian’s head (who is by not on medication and is clearly losing his mind).  Leah pleads with him as she feels this is wrong.
  • Scene 4: .  Phil offers Leah a sweet and as he puts his arm round her to show affection, she spits out the sweet and leaves in disgust. 

Act 4

  • Scene 1: Mark and Jan reveal someone has ‘gone’.  Which is Leah.
  • Scene 2: Richard attempts to convince Phil to re-join the group.  He attempts to gain his talk to him in similar ways to Leah.  Phil doesn’t eat or speak. Leah’s departure has clearly hurt him deeply . Richard informs him what has happened to the rest of the group.


A group of teenagers do something bad, really bad, then panic and cover the whole thing up. But when they find that the cover-up unites them and brings harmony to their otherwise fractious lives, where’s the incentive to put things right? DNA is a poignant and, sometimes, hilarious tale with a very dark heart. A new play for younger people DNA opened at the National Theatre in February 2008

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