Consent - Brunel University London
28th February 2020
Consent, by Nina Raine and directed by Lauren Lucy Cook, is a riveting tale that depicts the conflicts amongst three couples, all of whom work in the field of Law, and a victim of rape.
The tale dives deep into the complexities of modern relationships, which act as a main focal point for the narrative of the story, and how these relationships can begin to deteriorate when working and personal lives mix. It was intriguing to watch the dynamics of the relationships change as the story progressed. In the beginning, we’re led to believe that these young, middle-class lawyers are the perfect couples. Successful, rich and living in London, these lawyers and their partners are at the peak of their careers. However, when the case begins to turn for the worse, the couples soon realise that their relationships aren’t as idealistic as they originally believed. It was entertaining to watch these relationships; it acted as a microcosm for the story because when the case began to fail so did the marriages.
From a performance point of view, the show was fantastic! The ambience of the simple set indicated where we were in the story, with the stylistic arrangement of the furniture acting as a glue that kept the scene together. When the show transitioned into the courtroom, the victim was sat in the centre of the scene giving us the sense that all eyes were on her. The bright, invasive light choices created the impression that we were a part of the prosecution, interrogating the victim until she finally caved in. Furthermore, the high-intensity lights in the courtroom contrasted with the warm hue that was used for the living room scenes; a great way to create diverse environments that shadow the scenes.
The show accurately portrayed a relationship between barristers and their clients, bringing light on the culture and environment that comes with the job. When representing someone at court, it is one big performance. You have to engage your jury, manipulate and persuade, otherwise your opponent will get the better of you. The dedication that the cast of Consent displayed when replicating the correct structural aspects of the law is a testament to their devotion to telling a trying tale of rape and consent.
Conclusion: the cast of Consent accurately portray modern issues concerned with rape and consent whilst illustrating the difficulties of contemporary life. I can gladly say that the performance was of the highest quality, with lightening, staging and stage presence being highlights of the show. This performance is evidence of the talent that Brunel has to offer and hopefully, the students continue to use their talents in the creative arts.
By T.S. Pace-Fennell - EIC of The Brunel Lawyer