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

Yesterday, 19:19
The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A former public school boy accused of sexually assaulting an ex-classmate after a boozy night out told jurors that their encounter was “definitely consensual”.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:15
Myles Lovell saved the lives of two people - and now wants to know how they are doing [Picture by St John's Ambulance]

A man who saved the lives of two people after their car flipped over is appealing for them to get in touch.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:04
Seahorses are a protected species and trade in them is illegal (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A Chinese medicine trader has been fined for selling sexual enhancement pills made with seahorse extracts in Elephant and Castle.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

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.

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.

Quizzes

Can you guess which bridge crossing the Thames in London which? (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Do you know your Blackfriars from your Southwark, Cannon Street from Waterloo, or do all of London’s bridges look alike to you?

Read more
Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more