Daniel’s run at Fringe has ended but is performing at Camden Theatre later in the year.
If someone you knew committed an unspeakable crime, did you ever really know them at all? In 2013, an 18-year-old boy was imprisoned for the possession of over 50,000 indecent images of children.
Daniel follows the story of those people left behind when Daniel is convicted of paedophilia. An interesting and thought-provoking exploration into relationships and how easily people’s opinions can be changed and twisted. With a variety of reactions from the five actors it really asks the audience to think about how they would react if they were ever in this situation.
Disturbing, at times I did feel there were more opportunities to be brutal and honest in this play. The play felt slightly underdeveloped, it had the potential to be more hard hitting with a greater effect. It is a little talked about topic – the reasons why people might have these perverse desires – and although the play offered some reasons it could have been better investigated. One investigating viewpoint came from a female character who talked about becoming desensitised to porn and whether the attraction to children was caused by this? An interesting point it gave Daniel a bit of leeway and suggested he wasn’t 100% in the wrong. However, it’s not whether he’s in the wrong as such or whether he’s not necessarily evil. The real problem is the sexual abuse of children that someone watching the porn encourages. It’s the fact that these people act on these perverse desires and thus create a market for this porn and abuse to take place.
Some strong performances from the cast helped ensure the play stayed on track and was captivating throughout. Chosen to perform at the National Student Drama Festival Daniel is an engaging piece of new theatre that could do with some slight edits and changes to really bring out its full potential. This show has the power to make people really think before they judge and to retain an open mind no matter how despicable an act society might have told us it is.