Theatre review: Denial at the King’s Head Theatre

17:48 23 May 2012

Nicholas Gecks as Matthew in Denial at the King

Nicholas Gecks as Matthew in Denial at the King's Head Theatre. Photo by Christopher Tribble

Christopher Tribble

Denial is based on a real-life case which, in the hands of a superb theatrical craftsman, has been transformed into compelling drama.

In her shocking and alienating opening speech, Jenny Young, played by Clare Cameron, establishes a character who is angry and vengeful to the point of hysteria. The play goes on to explore how this normal young woman with not unusual problems has become such a termagant.

Valerie Morgan, her therapist played with unshakeable conviction of her own righteousness by Sally Plumb, is central to the conundrum. Jenny’s ordinary, loving, good-enough parents, Matthew and Karen and their lawyer daughter, Abigail, are portrayed as ordinary people floundering and drowning in a poisonous situation.

As the entire family is destroyed, there can have been few in the audience who did not reflect that this could happen to them.

Performed in the round in this small pub theatre, Adam Spreadbury-Maher’s production involves the audience so closely it’s as if we are witnessing the destruction of people we know well.

It remains a mystery why Arnold Wesker, the playwright, was neglected for so long by the British theatrical establishment.

* Denial is at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, N1, until June 9. Call 020 7478 0160 for box office.

Latest Stories

18:35
Great Britain's Jenny Jones with her bronze medal won in the Sochi Winter Olympics (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Snowboarder Jenny Jones has issued a desperate plea for help after her laptop containing all of her photographs of her Olympic success was stolen from her car.

Read more
12:32
The cyclist's helmet camera captured the sickening moment that a car slammed into him [Picture from Youtube]

A cyclist was hit by a car in Romford, slammed into the windscreen and miraculously landed on his feet - and caught the whole thing on his helmet cam.

Read more
11:22
The trio lured their victim to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A woman lured her fiancé to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath before beating him to near death with the help of two other men so they could steal £200 from him.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Renault Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more