Vernon God Little: an exciting side project for Love Never Dies

Vernon God Little - Matt Holly
Matt Holly in Vernon God Little.

On Monday 26th March, at the Capitol Theatre Studio, members of the cast of Love Never Dies will present a special one night only workshop production of the smash hit play Vernon God Little.

Starring 20 members of the Love Never Dies cast, this workshop production has been an exciting creative outlet for the company, who have tread the boards in Lloyd Webber’s latest musical over 300 times during the last 12 months.

Directed by Gavin Mitford, (currently Resident Director of Love Never Dies), Vernon God Little is the story of a naive teenager whose best friend Jesus has just murdered 16 of their classmates before killing himself, and the chaos that ensues in the weeks following the tragedy.

“I’m a massive fan of the novel Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, and have been hoping an opportunity would arise to explore the play. The glorious prose in the novel is a red flag for any creative looking to devise theatre”, said Director Gavin Mitford.

“I also wanted to give the cast a creative outlet to counter the work they are doing daily for Love Never Dies. I don’t think you could find more of a contrasting piece to an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, than Vernon God Little!”

Mitford describes the piece, adapted for the stage by Tanya Ronder, as a play about salvation in modern society. Set in Martirio, Texas, during George W Bush’s era as Governor of the state, Vernon (played by Matt Holly) experiences “every spectacular modern ill” throughout the course of the show.

“The writer set the piece in Texas, a state where gun laws are glorified, the “Law of Parties” allows death sentences to be passed on criminal accomplices and where “” really exists”, said Mitford.

DBC Pierre’s novel is subtitled A 21 Century Comedy, but Mitford has been careful not to let his cast play up the hilarity of the text too much, focusing on the reality which coldly seeps in underneath the surface of laughter.

“I guess we have a dark comedic quest for survival, but I’ve been wary of indulging in the comedy on offer in the text”, he said.

“Yes, these characters and their situations appear farcical, but the fact that they are firmly anchored in reality is the value of the piece. These characters and cultures are out there and [Vernon God Little] shows that sickening moment of clarity when you realise, this is for real.”

Although the presentation on Monday night is a ‘workshop’, Mitford has assembled a team of fresh and talented designers to revel in the piece also, creating a stunning suggestion of what this production could become. With set design by Paul Matthews, sound design by Que Nguen and Evan Drill as the technical director, the Vernon God Little experience has been a chance for all involved to stretch their creativity.

“It’s always a pleasure to free an actor from a bear suit”, Mitford laughs, when asked if he has enjoyed the process.

Vernon God Little will be showing at the Capitol Theatre Studio on Monday 26 March at 7pm. Seating is limited, so be sure to book your tickets now via their website

“The truth is that the LND cast is full of incredible talents all shimmering and glistening under their costumes, always looking to develop as artists. I’d be thrilled if they considered this project has given them that chance.”

This workshop production, rehearsed between matinee performances of Love Never Dies, has been a labour of love for the past three months. As Gavin Mitford rightly puts it: “this project is a true representation of the real reason we are all in theatre; creating something out of nothing.”

And boy – will it be something.

Tickets for this one night only event are selling fast – book online at as no tickets can be purchased at the door.

Starring: Matt Holly , Adam Rennie, Andrew Broadbent, Andrew Dunne, Colin Dean , Dean Vince , Ellen Simpson, Emma J. Hawkins , Erin Hasan , Erin James, Giordano Gangl, Mr Abdini Jess Mechielsen, Kathryn Sgroi, Kristy MacKenzie, Matthew McFarlane, Meredith O’Reilly, Paul Tabone, Pharic Scott, Renee Burleigh, Tod Strike


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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