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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Don't Miss...

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more