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Nina Raine: 'Consent is a work about the ability to ask for forgiveness'


The English playwright came to the country to attend the premiere of her praised and controversial work, a reflection on the possibility of justice in the face of rape

The English director and playwright Nina Raine (United Kingdom, 1975) came to Argentina for the first time to be present at the Teatro Maipo at the premiere of her praised work Consent,


dramatic comedy in two parts that deals in the background with topics such as the truth, female forgiveness and the value of justice in the face of a crime such as rape.

The entire theatrical piece revolves around issues that are now made visible by the feminist movements: rape, including marital rape;

hypocrisy in relationships;

adultery, revenge, and inequality in the legal system when it comes to doing justice to men and women.

Carla Calabrese and Melania Lenoir with Raine. Emmanuel Fernández

Raine is a conscientious reader of everything that happens and takes place in the British judicial system.

She follows the cases of women victims of

sexual abuse



, and seriously inquires into what she considers to be the unequal standard of justice.

First piece of information for those who come to see the play: our justice system has nothing to do with the British one.

The entire work, structured in fifteen scenes and with time jumps, takes place in a set design resolved in an austere way that adapts to the needs of the work that narrates, plainly and simply, the life that passes through the characters.

It begins in the living room of a couple of lawyers –Cata and Eduardo– who toast the arrival of her first child with the couple Alex and Romina, he is a lawyer and she is a prosecutor.

Two more friends will enter the scene later: Zara, an actress trying to get a role in a series about lawyers, and Luis, who is a prosecutor.

The seventh character and, in some way, the one who triggers the hidden conflicts in the frivolous life of the first six is ​​Hilda, a Paraguayan domestic worker (a cliché) who is the victim of a rape.

Nina Raine.Photo: Emmanuel Fernández


is a distant work from Jauría, to mention a moving documentary theater piece that addresses the same theme as the first.

Miguel del Arco wrote it based on a case of group rape of a young woman in Pamplona, ​​by subjects known as "la manada" and he structured it with fragments of the judicial file.

Present at Ñ

's talk


Nina Raine

, the co-director of the Argentine version, Carla Calabrese (owner of the

Teatro Maipo

together with her husband

Enrique Piñeyro

), says that the English setting seemed cold to her, and that is why she took that feeling into account the time of translation and adaptation.

The result – to our use – is a more local plot, with half daring and half vulgar language, in which Raine's humor was respected, with which it seeks to defuse the dramatic moments to come.

Raine was surprised by the Argentine public, at least on the opening day, who caught her dose of humor and laughed, showing an enthusiasm that is always appreciated.

The original version of


opened at

the National Theater in London

in 2017 (celebrated as a new contemporary classic), later moving to the Harold Pinter Theater in London's West End.

The local cast is made up of Diego Gentile, Melania Lenoir (co-director with Calabrese), Iride Mockert, Daniela Pantano, Bruno Pedicone, Alejandra Perlusky and Sebastián Suñé.

Believe it or not,


came out the same year that American film producer

Harvey Weinstein was hit by a tsunami of sexual assault and rape allegations that, during his lifetime as a



, he had perpetrated against women who at the time they did not speak or were not heard.

A year later, with the success of Raine's piece, the


movement managed to change that part of history.

In Nina Raine's work, no one can raise the flag of the moral standard: everyone is unfaithful, whether by choice, boredom or revenge.

The author defends her piece in the conversation with


and says that she wanted to leave open all the perspectives of the characters.

The truth is that the truest and most unappealable perspective is that of the Paraguayan maid who was the victim of rape.

And she Raine herself holds her own even though she doesn't raise it when she talks about her work.

Great-niece of the Russian writer

Boris Pasternak

(Doctor Zhivago

), daughter of Craig Raine, sister of the playwright Moses Raine, the author consults with those around her when finishing a work: "My family is my filter and accompanies me throughout the creation process" , underline.


is also a work about language (especially legal) and the words with which the world is constructed and described, making perspectives, perspectives and memories prevail.

He also talks about that in this talk with



–The level of tolerance of women with respect to the behavior of men is surprising in the work.

The women in the play are very different.

Cata, Romina, Zara and Hilda don't look alike.

It is an interesting question, because what happens in the play is what happens in real life.

Cata's role is interesting because she is a woman who puts up with a lot and wakes up when something happens to her friend Romina in her life.

That gets her moving.

And that happens in life, suddenly something happens to another and makes us look at ourselves and see what happens to us in that situation.

I was interested in exploring the relationship of these couples.

Something suddenly explodes between Romina and Alex, it seems that it will not be fixed and both seek to move on.

A lot has to do with children.

He returns but makes them pay.

That is where she gains power.

–And what is the message of this?

Isn't divorce the best solution?

–That is exactly what happens to Cata's character.

It's like wondering who has the whip.

She, after everything that happens, gains power.

And that power ends up being more important than infidelity.

It was hard for me to identify with his women.

My background is fourth wave feminism, so I found the behavior of its female characters disconcerting.

–I don't think my work is related to the feminist fourth wave.

What was the trigger for writing this work?

–When I started writing this work, which derives from another called


, there was a character who was a lawyer and I found that legal world interesting.

I began to think what would happen to that character later.

I ran into lawyer friends and was surprised to hear the way they referred to the cases they handled.

They referred to them in the first person in a very light way, not only in cases of rape, but also in homicides.

It caught my attention and that's why I decided to delve into this world.

– Do you think that justice is unequal for men and women?

–More women than men are raped and it is true that the legal system is weak in the way these cases of abused women are treated.

I took Hilda's story from a case she was following.

A police friend heard of a victim who was unable to speak in court or defend herself against an attacker with a violent history.

That victim couldn't defend herself out of fear.

The victim who inspired the character of Hilda broke down throughout the trial due to the questions that the lawyer asked her.

And there was another case that I followed a lot that was that of a stepfather who raped his daughter.

She denounced him when she was 40 years old and all the interrogation led to questioning the victim's story.

Only the fact that the victim began to hesitate made the jury wary of her complaint.

There's something about the legal system that doesn't feel fair.

–The work talks a lot about empathy.

However, in cases of rape or abuse, there is no such empathy for some women with the victims.

It's a very big generalization.

Hopefully not.

I hope we are empathetic to women in this situation.

But it is true that women on juries are the toughest.

I wish it weren't so.

But yes, it can happen.

Perhaps there are women who think that, in a similar situation, they would have reacted differently and that is why they do not feel empathy.



you wanted to expose truths and open a debate on law and justice, or you wanted to present your own perspective on the matter.

–Obviously I wanted him to open a debate and for each character to have his point of view and I don't think it's interesting to attribute my point of view to him.

What I wanted is for each character to have her perspective and for no one to be the villain.

As a playwright, the best part of writing a play is to contradict myself through my characters.

I wanted to debate through my characters.

I like people to challenge these points of view.

I'm not interested in the public leaving with answers.

If I had to reduce the work to one sentence it is very difficult.

This is a work about the human being, about forgiveness, about the ability to ask for forgiveness.

At the same time there is a desire for another to understand why we need forgiveness.

–How does being Boris Pasternak's great-niece influence you?

–I realized that good writing could be a job.

Very early in school I knew that I had no talent to be a poet like my father.

My writing is very different from Pasternak's.

What interests me are the dialogues and the happiest way of writing is listening and writing dialogues.


Nina Raine

United Kingdom, 1975. Playwright.

She is

a theater director and playwright, the only daughter of Craig Raine and Ann Pasternak Slater, and the great-niece of the Russian novelist Boris Pasternak.

In 1998 she graduated with a BA in English Literature from Christ Church, Oxford.

In 2000, she won the Channel Four / Jerwood Space Scholarship for Young Directors, with which she trained as a director at the Royal Court Theatre, where she collaborated on several plays.

Rabbit, Raine's first work as a playwright, opened at London's Old Red Lion Theater in the summer of 2006. Her second play, Tribes, was produced by London's Royal Court in October 2010, directed by Roger Michell.

Consent is her fourth work.


Place: Teatro Maipo, Esmeralda 443.

Hours: until March 26, Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $3,000

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Source: clarin

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