Teens have blood on their hands
H e was a troubled teen in EastEnders for 11 years and as part of the cast of DNA James Alexandrou is back in hot water once again.
In the show, which is coming to The Brewery Theatre later this month, he plays his part in a group of teenagers who accidentally kill a friend and then try to cover it up.
At first it brings them all together but harmony soon begins to unravel to the detriment of themselves and those around them.
Director Anthony Banks says: "This is the worst type of accident, it's a group of teenagers who accidentally kill a guy who's one of their mates. It's very compelling and edge of the seat stuff."
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DNA is written by Dennis Kelly who is currently receiving critical acclaim for his adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical. This revival by company Hull Truck is coming to Bristol as part of a national tour.
James says the play takes a dark, deep look at the human condition; what it is to be human, what our instincts, our nature is and the hierarchy we form among groups.
"This play doesn't talk down to the characters", he says. "It shows them as normal young kids in extraordinary circumstances rather than the tendency to bracket kids as either in gangs or people isolated from the rest of the world, which is rubbish."
As Martin Fowler in the BBC soap, a character who got his friend Sonia Jackson pregnant and then knocked down her fiance, James is no stranger to acting his way out of a sticky situation.
He plays Phil, an outsider who only talks about three or four times during the whole play, and who helps the gang to come up with a plan to cover up the death.
He says: "It deals with whether we are responsible for our actions and it is a bit existential but in an accessible way. It's not a lot of dusty old people talking it out; it constantly moves forward. There are some really funny moments in it too.
"I hope people walk away and chew over it for a few days afterwards."
Since premiering at the National Theatre in 2008, DNA has fast become a contemporary classic, already a set text on the GCSE English syllabus.
He says: "We've already had a lot of Y10s and Y11s coming to the show which is great and it's nice to attract a younger and vibrant audience.
"There tends to be a reverence associated with going to the theatre but when it's 14 and 15-year-olds they're shouting, eating crisps and laughing, which is how it should be really."