"The cast are excellent"
-Radio Times-

"a richly deserved West End transfer"
-The Daily Telegraph-

"Nina Raine’s smart, sparky script"
-The Guardian-

Sorry, Consent closed on 11 Aug 2018

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"A searing examination of moral fluidity, revenge and justice"

Critic Rating

25 May 2018, Harold Pinter Theatre
Laura Kressly Laura Kressly
Kitty and Ed have just had their first child. Life is blissful for them and their friends, who often pop round for drinks and a smoke. They joke about work and sex, and make light of the court cases they encounter in their day-to-day work as barristers. All is well. But then loyalty crumbles, empathy turns out to be a lie and the law delivers an unfair verdict. Nina Raine's fourth play Consent, newly transferred to the West End from the National Theatre, is a searing examination of moral fluidity, revenge and justice.

Disappointingly, the title is a misnomer, as the rape trial that seems like it's meant to parallel the collapse and reconfiguration of middle class domestic life is only given a few token scenes. This makes it subordinate to what are - generally - comparatively trivial issues of the main characters. This is a huge disservice to rape victims and the devastation they experience by having their consent and autonomy so devastatingly breached.

Despite this, Raine's script is excellent. The nuanced examination of its themes is handled with care and sensitivity, and director Roger Mitchell finds a pace that allows the script to resonate without dragging. Though the issue of consent is downplayed in favour of others, the story is still relevant and thought-provoking.

Claudie Blakley and Stephen Campbell Moore are Kitty and Ed. The pair's journey from contentment through despair and everything in between is both compelling and tragic. They are complimented by Sian Clifford and Adam James as Rachel and Jake, colleagues of Ed's who have since become close mates. As their respective relationships falter under the weight of the foibles that inevitably result from flawed humans trying to create a life together, sides are chosen and the performances transition along with their allegiances admirably. It's a superbly performed play all around.

Despite the misleading title and loosely connected subplot, Raine's dialogue crackles with tension and energy. The sensitive performances are moving, and the issues at work are largely presented with respect to the havoc they can wreak on a household. The story and all its uncensored humanity on display burrows deep into the heart and mind, and lingers long.

Reviewed by Laura Kressly.

Radio Times
It’s a play that needs to be seen: for the quality of its writing, its performances, and its contribution to a public conversation that is only just beginning.
Dominic Cavendish
Anyone who has experienced an intimate relationship go hideously awry should #GoSee.
The Guardian
This bracingly clever, bleakly funny play offers no easy answers to any of its questions: what is justice, what is vengeance, and which is right?
Sarah Crompton
Under Roger Michell's assured direction, it raises questions rather than giving answers, tentatively reaching towards conclusions. The performances are equally assured.
Natasha Tripney
Nina Raine excels at writing scenes in which people are spectacularly awful to one another. Consent contains many moments in which her characters brutally wound each other with words.