DNA - New Wolsey Theatre


Performed from Thu 2 — Thu 9 Feb

Warehouse Digital

A young man walks towards a glowing orange light in a dark forest at twilight. White text above him reads 'DNA by Dennis Kelly.'

A black comedy with a dark heart.

A group of teenagers do something bad, something they can’t undo. Panicking, they concoct an elaborate cover-up, unleashing a series of events that twist and turn their young lives into a terrifying game of survival, putting not only their friendship, but their morality to the test.

A modern-day comedy with bite, this new staging of Dennis Kelly’s explosive tale of misfits at the edge of society, directed by New Wolsey Chief Executive Douglas Rintoul, brings the very best of East Anglia’s emerging artists to the stage.

Age guidance 13+.
Includes language and situations authentic to the characters and worlds portrayed. Contains references to bullying, abuse/violence, murder and mental health.

Running time: approximately 60 mins, no interval.

Cast & Creatives

Ntabiso J Bhebhe — Cast Member

The headshot of Ntabiso J Bhebhe.

Ntabiso is a recent graduate from Mountview.

Credits while training include: The Man of Mode (Supporting Lead), Enron (Ramsey/Ensemble), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), The Oresteia (Choryphaeus 3), Mogadishu (Jason), Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (Nick).

Credits with the New Wolsey Young Company include: How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (Eric/Barry), The 39 Steps (Heavy 2/Radio announcer).


‘As a former member of the Wolsey Young Company, Wolsey holds a special place in my heart. My time there was invaluable in facilitating the growth I needed. Fulfilling one of my dreams in performing on the main Wolsey stage is a blessing. I'm looking forward to diving into this classic.’

Eireann Devlin — Cast Member

The headshot of Eireann Devlin.

Eireann trained at The Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company. DNA is her professional debut.

Her credits whilst training include: This Changes Everything, Julius Caesar, Anatomy of a Suicide and Gundog.


‘I’m very excited to be making my professional debut at The New Wolsey, one of my local theatres. It means a lot to be working with a theatre that values access as much as they do. DNA is a fantastic play and I really hope audience members, especially students, are encouraged to take part in the arts through seeing what we produce!’

Brayden Emmanuel — Cast Member

The headshot of Brayden Emmanuel.

Brayden trained at Arts Ed.

Stage Credits include: Seb in Operation: Save Santa (The Garage); Sim in The Curlew (Arts Ed); Dwight in Sirens (Arts Ed).

Film and Television Credits include: Richard in You & Me (ITV); Romeo in Man (Arch Film Studio); Jay in Cub (Grey Moth Productions).


‘I absolutely love seeing work that regional theatres produce and also how important they can be to a lot of people from the area too. Keeping theatre local gives more access to theatre that some people might not get to otherwise and that’s something that has encouraged me to pursue this as a career; and so being on the other side of that, doing an incredible play, feels quite full circle. I’m very excited to be working so close to home again and meeting a whole new team of cast and creatives! Bring it on!’

Tom Houlton — Cast Member

The headshot of Tom Houlton.

Tom Houlton trained at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He is an actor and presenter.

His theatre credits include: Captain Stena’s Tall Tales (Stena Cruise Line - K22 Productions); Murder! At the Manor, Murder! At Skellington Hall (Two Kings); The Disappeared, The Bunker Below (Neon Monster); Only Fools & 3 Courses, Mammy’s Boys (Comedy Dining).

Tom’s television and film credits include: Pervert: Hunting The Strip-Search Caller (Paramount+); Paranorman: Live Action Remake (Laika Studios/ Ridder Films); The Beefy Builder (On The Tools); Sparks Project (Channel 4); VT 12 (Tollywood Cinema - Praveen Sattaru); National Rail - Virtual Reality (Feed Films Ltd); Lads, Lads, Lads - Music Video (SOFY/ Milton World); Huntsman (Arthrofilm Ltd); Autumn Tree - Pilot Episode (Moyen Massive Productions); Kidnap TV - Pilot Episode (Kidnap TV Productions); On The Day Tips (Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd); HSBC Manager Training Video (HSBC/ Media Zoo); Case Matter Analysis (University of Law, London).

Tom’s presenting credits include: Deal or No Deal (Evolution Gaming); eToro Corporate Trading Video (eToro); TikTok Videos (Taylor & Francis); Social Engineering Red Flags (Theory Films); Libraries Connected (UpSkill Digital); LADbible Visit Britain (LADbible); The Friday Problem (Skill Boosters); Quiz App (Itza Media); National School Videos (National Education Group).


'I first performed here, age 12, in a school production of The Winter's Tale. It is truly wonderful to be back, 17 years later, performing in this socially engaging play.'

Shaun Jenkinson — Cast Member

The headshot of Shaun Jenkinson.

Shaun trained at The Oxford School of Drama.

Theatre credits include: The Kneebone Cadillac (Theatre Royal Plymouth); Under My Skin (Pegasus Theatre).

Film and television credits include: Backbone (BBC).


‘I’m thrilled to be a part of this production, and so close to home! The story’s relationship with the youth of today is particularly poignant, so I’m extremely excited to be part of a play that will engage younger people and nurture their relationship with theatre within my local community.’

Jessica Laitt — Cast Member

The headshot of Jessica Laitt.

Jessica trained at East 15 Acting School. DNA is her regional theatre debut.

Theatre credits include: Cinderella (Out Of The Box Productions).

Film and commercial credits include: Uplink (Short Film: Xtreme Productions); The Night Watch (Training Film: Iver Makeup Academy Pinewood Studios); ROARR! (Commercial: Trendy Grandad); Wish You Were Here (Commercial: Lastminute.com).

Credits while training include: The Sea of Milk, The Audience Effect, Ondine, Svatura (East 15 Acting School).


'Being able to kick-start my regional theatre career on a stage I know and love is so exciting to me. Having grown up in Ipswich and then returning after my drama school training, The New Wolsey Theatre has allowed me to see such an array of talent on their stage and I am honoured to have been cast in DNA to be able to perform on that same stage professionally. DNA is a dynamic text that I cannot wait to bring to life.'

Gabriella Manning — Cast Member

The headshot of Gabriella Manning.

Gabriella recently graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. This is her professional stage debut.

Credits whilst training include: Three Sisters, Dance Nation, Richard II, The Seagull (Central School of Speech and Drama); Be My Baby, How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found, Nice Guys (New Wolsey Young Company).


‘I’m thrilled to be back at the Wolsey after spending my teenage years with the Young Company. The Wolsey inspired my journey to drama school and now I’ve come full circle with my professional debut being in my hometown.’

Mae Munuo — Cast Member

The headshot of Mae Munuo.

Mae is an actor/deviser and graduated from the Royal Central School of School of Speech and Drama, Acting CDT in 2019.

She made her professional actors debut with I’ll Take You to Mrs Cole! for Complcité (Catherine Alexander). Mae has just performed as Claire in The Nutcracker at Bristol Old Vic, directed by Lee Lyford.

Her credits include: The Canterville Ghost (Justin Audibert), Guillver’s Travels (Jaz Woodcock- Stewart) and The Bolds (Lee Lyford) all with The Unicorn Theatre; Anansi the Spider (Justin Audibert) at Regent’s Park Open Air, in collaboration with The Unicorn Theatre.

She wrote and performed her own play How to Become a Revolutionary (Abi Falase) with Small Truth Theatre. Credits with them also include: September Skies (Yasmeen Arden) and Centre Ground (Sarah Davey-Hull).

Film credits: Short film – Behind your Back (Rastine Mir); Mini-Series – Mea and Gee (which she wrote and directed).

Charlie Shephard — Cast Member

The headshot of Charlie Shephard.

Charlie recently graduated from the Oxford School of Drama. This is his professional stage debut.

Credits whilst training include: Superhuman, As You Like it, A Lie of the Mind (Oxford School of Drama); The 39 Steps, The Pillowman (New Wolsey Young Company).


‘I’m excited for the opportunity to work with Doug, especially on such a thrilling play. I’m also really looking forward to working with some old friends from my time with the New Wolsey Young Company.’

Emily Tang — Cast Member

The headshot of Emily Tang.

Emily trained at The MTA.

Theatre credits include: Ensemble/Cover Fairy in Claus The Musical (The Lowry).

Credits while training include: Ensemble/1st Cover Hud/1st Cover Sheila in Hair, Featured Artist in Something Old, Something New, Roberta/Mum in How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found.

Emily is delighted to be joining the cast of DNA and would like to thank Apollo Artist Management, her parents and her partner who have all continued to support her.

Twitter: @emilytang_x
Instagram: @emilyloutang


‘I’m so excited to be a part of DNA. It’s so special that we can perform in a place that feels like home! I think it’s so important that regional theatres are bringing together local performers - it’s a huge reflection of representation for young aspiring performers, because if we can do it, why can’t they?’

Douglas Rintoul — Director and Set & Costume Designer

A photograph of Douglas Rintoul outside the New Wolsey Theatre, smiling, with his arms folded.

Douglas is an award-winning theatre-maker and cultural leader. He was born in Suffolk, grew up in Essex, read Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham and was awarded a bursary on the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme to Salisbury Playhouse where he trained as a director. He is the Chief Executive/Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre, was the Artistic Director of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch (2015 - 2022), founder of the national touring theatre company Transport (2010 - 2017), and an associate of Complicité (2004 - 2010).

David Phillips — Lighting Designer

David started his career in theatre in 1994 in his native Leamington Spa before joining Derby Playhouse in 1999. David has been lucky enough to design both nationally and internationally.

Notable designs include: 1984, Hamlet, Loves’ Labours’ Lost (Northern Broadsides, UK Touring); She Stoops to Conquer, The Trial, The Ashes (Nottingham Playhouse); Burial at Thebes (Spoleto Festival, Charleston USA and Arts and Ideas Festival, New Haven USA, Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames); Jack and the Beanstalk (Gaiety, Dublin); Aladdin (Mercury, Colchester); Roots (Mercury, Colchester/Hull Truck/ Nottingham Playhouse); Spring Awakening, Parade, Little Shop of Horrors, Legally Blond (LSC/Pleasance); Thirst (MC Theater Amsterdam/ NL & UK Touring); Blue Stockings (Arts Educational); Dracula (Fitzrovia / Mercury Colchester); Canoeing for Beginners (Royal Court, Liverpool); Our Country’s Good (Curve, Leicester); The Witches (Lyric Theatre Hong Kong/Curve, Leicester/Leeds Playhouse); Wisdom of a Fool (Capital Horsham/ UK Touring); Miss Nightingale, Oxy and The Morons, How to Disappear, Treasure Island, Snow Queen and Trio (New Wolsey); over a dozen pantos for Little Wolf Entertainment, including Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin (Derby Arena) and numerous productions for Youth Music Theatre UK.

Instagram: @dpld2020

Kira Tisbury — Costume Supervisor

Reviews of DNA

What the press say

‘Short, sharp shocker of a play’

The Guardian

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