Nina Raine's Consent is a play about attitudes towards rape, and how victims of rape are treated by the current British justice system. It was first performed as a co-production with Out of Joint in the Dorfman auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 4 April 2017 (previews from 28 March).
The plot of Consent revolves around a contentious rape case: a working-class woman, Gayle, alleges that she was raped on the night of her sister’s funeral, while the accused claims that she consented. The barrister acting for the defence, Edward, and his wife, Kitty, are friends with the case’s crown prosecutor, Tim. When Edward and Kitty try to set Tim up with an actress friend, Zara, who’s auditioning for a big legal drama herself, their own marriage comes under strain. Having counselled their best friends Jake and Rachel, also lawyers, through their own rocky patch, Edward and Kitty find themselves in a similar situation. Fraying under the pressures of motherhood, and never having forgiven Edward over a previous indiscretion, Kitty winds up in an affair of her own and, after a fraught argument, she accuses him of rape.
The National Theatre production was directed by Roger Michell and designed by Hildegard Bechtler. It was performed by Adam James, Anna Maxwell Martin, Ben Chaplin, Priyanga Burford, Pip Carter, Heather Craney and Daisy Haggard.