Youth Theatre Director, Max Lindsay shares all behind the scenes of Consensual, the latest production by NST’s Youth Theatre…
“For my money Evan Placey is the best writer for young people in the country; in his own words he ‘doesn’t censor the world for young people’. His writing is brave, funny, incisive but always honest and this is why I love directing his plays.
The main thrust of Consensual looks at the illicit affair between a student, Freddie, and his pastoral assistant, Diane. The pair are relatively close in age yet Freddie is underage at 15 and Diane is in a position of power and 22. Their memories of what happened are murky leading to a reunion that is full of devastating accusations. We also meet a group of teenagers navigating their way through sexual consent, grooming and abusive relationships in SRE lessons.
Taking on this was a major challenge for both me and the cast members. The subject matter requires delicate but frank conversations to be taking place in the lead up to putting the scenes up on their feet. The cast were incredibly sensitive which meant that we were able to dive in to a very complex and mature script and find very truthful performances throughout. There are moments that are hilariously funny, some quite shocking and others incredibly tender and heart-breaking.
The wonderful challenge about this play is that it combines an ensemble ethic that is a very important part of NST’s Youth Theatre with highly detailed text work. We have been creating timelines of events leading up to scenes, meticulously working through character intentions and dividing up the script event changes. As well as this we have been working on some stunning movement sequences that include developments of characters arcs that we have found during our conversations. When you come and see the play (and you can book your tickets here) do keep an eye on the movement as there are subtle developments that the keen-eyed amongst you will enjoy!
Consensual is compelling, feisty, and intense and will hopefully provoke a different interpretation in every audience member that will mean conversations will continue well after the play has finished.”
Tickets are available from the Box Office 023 8067 1771 or online.