Take a critical look at the objective nature of the legal system, where ensuring that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together is more important than finding out the truth. Created by the erstwhile Nina Raine, in collaboration with Roger Michell of Notting Hill fame, the courtroom production delivers everything it promises and more. From palpable silences to heated arguments, this is a show that you’ll be talking about for a long time.
Why Watch The One
Nina Raine's critically acclaimed production, Consent, is making a return to West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre, albeit for a limited run. A courtroom drama that is full of opposing narratives and promises always to keep you at the edge of your seat. The brutal complexity of contemporary life There is a very fine line between right and wrong, and the director, Roger Michell, knows precisely how to orchestrate the play to bring this out.
The law is under severe scrutiny and is set in the backdrop of a modern-day relationship. Everything from the writing, to the performances, is top-notch, and the show is undoubtedly going to change the way you look at lawyers and the legal system. Claudie Blakley and Stephen Campbell Moore are an utterly engrossing couple and capture the complex and mutually flawed personalities of their characters wonderfully. Although the play is quite critical of the legal system, Raine isn’t cynical. It illustrates how lawyers build a shell during their professional hours, and in off-hours tend to speak very light-heartedly about their cases.
Raine earned universal praise in 2012 for her play, Tribes, which tackles deafness. The director, Roger Michell, is well known for his use of nimble, yet engrossing scenes. Together, they have created a gripping narrative, one that promises to make you reflect about the pitfalls of the current judicial system.
The story opens with barrister Edward and his wife Kitty arranging the furniture in their new home. They are joined by their lawyer friends, Rachel and Jake who raise a toast to their new home and baby. One of Kitty’s friends, Zara is auditioning for a role in a TV drama, and the friends try to set her up with Tim, a prosecutor.
Gayle, a working-class woman, alleges that on the night of her sister’s funeral, she was raped. On the other hand, the accused, claims that it was consensual. Two friends, Edward and Tim, are set up against each other, with Edward defending the accused rapist, while Tim acts as the prosecutor. Moreover, Gayle’s credibility is questioned because she is currently receiving treatment for the psychological damage from her being assaulted in her teenage years. Her attacker’s previous behaviour, however, is not examined in detail. Edward makes a bold statement, saying that it is better a guilty man be set free rather than an innocent man being wrongly convicted. When Gayle questions them, the lawyers are unable to come up with a satisfying response.
A gripping 140-minute show awaits you, and questions about vengeance and justice are thrown around. Will there be a satisfactory answer by the end of this law-centric thriller?
Introspective audiences | Black humour fans | Fans of legal dramas
“Nina Raine's play about a rape trial is utterly gripping and essential viewing.”
- Radio Times
“Love and justice on trial in fierce courtroom drama.”
- The Guardian
Know Before You Go
Suitable for ages 15 and up.
The Harold Pinter Theatre has a seating capacity of 785. You can find the seating plan here.
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in West End.
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.
Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London