Consensual

21 Mar

This show is about sex.

Tix available here

New-Theatre-Consensual-photo-by-Bob-Seary

Photo by Bob Seary

No, seriously, it is about sex. Yucky sex; not the joyful type, the type that’s like spring and sunshine and sausages (as in ‘democracy sausages’- the ones that make you feel we’re all in this together.)

No, it’s about icky sex; the type whose mythology is that sex is wild and dangerous and so, so, so ‘rock and roll’ (in the sense that it’s shallow, repetitive and, on the rare occasions when it is actually good, over far too quickly. Just like the participants.)

Consensual is set in a school environment. The students are obsessed with sex. One boy seeks…..something, and finds it (oh so briefly) with a staff member.

The play throws up issues like these (or, at least, I felt I was thrown up on):

What exactly is consent?

Should there be an age of consent?

What harm is done when the current laws are broken?

In what situations might these laws be broken?

Is our society simply too sexualized?

First performed in London in 2015, Evan Placey’s play is sharply written, at times funny and at times moving, and guaranteed to lead to lengthy conversation in the bar afterwards.

Director Johann Walraven’s production is top quality. The cast are eminently watchable, making challenging characters come alive. Paul Whiddon, as the boy, gives a fascinating performance, provocatively balancing anger, manipulation and vulnerability. Lauren Richardson as the staff member gives a similarly riveting portrait, presenting a woman whose naivety plays hide and seek with her duplicity.

For me, one of the most engrossing aspects of the play is the second act.  It’s a neat dramatist’s trick, but due to the ‘no spoiler rule’, I can only tease and titillate. I’ll say this much: the second act is an extraordinary commitment to what I’ll call (no doubt unhelpfully) platonic naturalism – the belief that theatre can present what is hidden but what is real.  This can happen, the dramatist says, even though what I am presenting is fiction.  Of course, Placey is not the only writer to play this card (it’s part of our grand tradition) but because of the issues at hand, it’s particularly intriguing.

Paul Gilchrist

 

Consensual by Evan Placey

at New Theatre ti 15 April

Tix and info here

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: