Penny Bank Productions

The Age of Consent


Peter Morris’ THE AGE OF CONSENT was performed onstage at the Helmsley Arts Centre and streamed 15-16 January 2021. The piece places in counterpoint two acutely uncomfortable monologues about childhood, responsibility and the shattering of innocence. One voice is a teenager awaiting his release from a correctional facility after serving his time for the murder of a child. The other is the young mother of a child performer, ruthlessly scheming for fame and fortune, and making sure her daughter will do absolutely whatever it takes. The characters are united by a sense of denial, as well as the humanity that can exist behind even the most monstrous abuse. Morris’ controversial and powerful play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2001, and was condemned and acclaimed for tackling the subject of child killers.

Tickets were £5 + donations on the night. Both the Helmsley Arts Centre and Penny Bank Productions believe that theatre accessibility is incredibly important. For those that were in a position to be able to donate more and did so, all were greatly appreciated.

The play for me tackles the concept of what consent in our day-to-day lives actually entails. Obviously, there’s the sexual connotation; however, having explored the play, you can’t help but realise the ways in which consent is taken or expected from others without the consent of those actually involved; in the case of the play, parent/child and criminal/victim relationships. There’s an exploitative nature to the society we live in now, something which I think Morris has subtly yet powerfully incorporated within both these characters and the piece itself.

Alastair Coughlan – Timmy, Director

Cast: Florrie Stockbridge (Stephanie), Alastair Coughlan (Timmy). Coughlan was also the director.
Venue & Co-Producer: Helmsley Arts Centre
Technical Director: Steven Woolmer (SW Productions)

Performed with kind permission of Bloomsbury Publishing.

Cover/poster & rehearsal photos: Joe Coughlan

Penny Bank Productions would like to thank Natasha Jones (Artistic Director HAC) and Steve Woolmer (SW Productions) and the Gazette & Herald for their press release. This project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.