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BWW Review: CONSENSUAL, Soho Theatre


BWW Review: CONSENSUAL, Soho Theatre

BWW Review: CONSENSUAL, Soho Theatre Opening this year's National Youth Theatre REP Season is the return of Evan Placey's Consensual, originally written for the company back in 2015 when it premiered at the Ambassadors Theatre. It's been given a major facelift as Pia Furtado's production, featuring a brand new cast, moves to the Soho Theatre - a space that seems perfectly suited to the intimate nature of the piece.

Diane, the Head of Year 11, has been given the task to teach the kids about healthy relationships. Armed with her A4 sheets, she guides the class in conversations surrounding sex, intimacy and STI's. But the dialogue quickly gets taken over by the kids, becoming more about playground gossip and the calling out of fellow classmates' promiscuity.

Distracted from her teaching duties, Diane battles a blast from the past. After six years without ever thinking about it, a night of drunken madness comes back to haunt her, as Freddie, her former student arrives back into existence. He claims that Diane groomed her. She denies the allegations, saying that he took advantage of her at a vulnerable state.

Marilyn Nnadebe and Fred Hughes-Stanton share a delicious chemistry between them, and their complex relationship is a joy to watch unfold throughout. Their most thrilling moments of interaction lie mainly in the second act, where it's just them two on stage. As an audience we watch as voyeurs, seeing and scrutinising how that night all those years ago unfolded. We quickly discover that things aren't as black and white as we once thought.

Known for their fearless ensembles, NYT have once again demonstrated that they have, within the company, some of the finest young talent in this country. The entire cast are sublime - a genuine treat to watch. Alice Vilanculo is a particular delight, playing the gobby teenager Georgia. Vibrant and witty, her enthusiasm radiates and it's brilliant to see a performer having so much fun on stage.

The same can be said for the rest of the cast, as each have their little motions and character features that allows them all to shine as individuals. If this group are part of our industry's future, then I'm here for it. Arguably one of the finest productions the REP Company have ever produced, this entire season is not one to miss.

Consensual at Soho Theatre until 9 November

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Photo credit: Helen Murray

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From This Author Charlie Wilks