Theatre review of Danti-Dan: Replaying the darker side of 1970s childhood

When Gina Moxley’s play was first staged almost 30 years ago by Rough Magic, it was a truthful and shocking account of 1970s teenage life. Seeing it again now, in this beguiling Livin’ Dred revival, it has become a fascinating piece of social history.

owboy-obsessed Dan spends his day filling notebooks with the registration numbers of cars that pass the gate. Bored and precocious Cactus is always looking for trouble. She furtively reads novels with her soft-hearted friend Dolores in search of sexy bits. Dolores’ older sister Ber is dating cranky unemployed Noel, and they have “gone all the way”; Ber fears she is pregnant but doesn’t believe it’s possible as they only did it “standing up”. The romance between Ber and Noel excites Cactus’s sexual curiosity and leads her to some experimentation of her own. Dan’s vulnerability — he has a mental age of a younger child — leaves him exposed to exploitation. The action builds to a shocking climax.


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