Review Round Up: Consent, National Theatre

In Features, London theatre, Native, News, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Nina Raine’s new play is now playing at the National Theatre, starring Anna Maxwell Martin. But what have critics been saying about it? 

The Stage: “Roger Michell’s production is, like the writing, precise and elegant, if a little too tidy.”

Time Out:  “if it’s not problem-free it’s gutsy and supremely well performed.”

The Independent: “Directed by Roger Michell with a wonderfully light-footed nippiness as it darts around among the domestic landmines.”

The Arts Desk: “Powerfully written, compelling to watch, and both entertaining and thought-provoking, Consent is only slightly marred by having almost too much content, almost too much to say.”

A Younger Theatre:  “Acted beautifully and staged under Hildegard Bechtler’s design of a canopy of lamps, Consent makes for heavy viewing, but littered with laughs along the way, you’re left with something complete yet still unsettling.”

Evening Standard:  “Besides its astute observation of the balancing acts involved in marriage, there’s plenty of finely tuned comedy.”

The Upcoming: “It’s all very chic and unfussy, designer Hildegard Bechtler and director Roger Mitchell clearing the way for the legalistic fireworks.”

Variety: “It’s so stuffed with ideas and so intricately constructed that it can feel calculated, despite some rich performances.”

The Telegraph: “The evening – artful, and yes a tad too convoluted and contrived – is stylishly directed by Roger Michell, and designed with beauty and economy by Hildegard Bechtler.”

The Guardian:  “It pulls off one of the most important things a play can do: it helps us to listen in a new way. Almost to empathise.”

Exeunt Magazine:Consent wanders the infinite grey area between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, yet the symmetry that Raine and Michell revel in throughout the play, through wordplay and imagery, can feel just a tiny bit too on the nose.”

The FT: “this is the kind of play and production in which the renowned and consummate talents of Anna Maxwell Martin (as Chaplin’s character’s vengeful wife) merit little more than a passing mention in the context of everything else that’s going on in terms of acting, writing and discreet direction. A bit of a beaut all round.”

London Theatre.co.uk:  “The end result is a meaty and complicated new drama that offers audiences a forum to examine their own morals, truth and faith in the legal system.”

Broadway World:  “A thought-provoking piece about the slipperiness of truth, fragility of relationships, and murky unknowability of justice.”

London News Online:  “As a result, this production is powerful, yet entertaining and will leave you scrutinising where and to whom you make judgments within your own life.”

British Theatre Guide:Consent is patchily stunning but could have been so much better.”

The Reviews Hub:  ” in a play which does sometimes stray a little too closely to preaching, it’s that sense of humanity which always pulls it back.”

London Box Office:  “a complex and an emotionally shattering production that is not to be missed.”

There Ought to be Clowns:  “there’s much to enjoy in the intricate thought-patterns of a play that is unafraid to ask bold questions about what justice and forgiveness really mean.”

The Daily Mail: “after a blisteringly cynical first half it turns out to be just another vexed relationship drama.”

Consent continues to play at the National Theatre until the 17th May.

Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.
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Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.