Penetration poster


By Carolyn Lloyd Davies

Penetration by Carolyn Lloyd Davies, is a socially provocative piece of theatre, of particular significance in the light of recent shocking reports.

Based on true events, the play follows the stories of Anna, a rape complainant, and Sean, the defendant, with insight and sensitivity.  Anna’s manipulative and coercive boyfriend James, adds an additional overtone to the play, as does the perspective of Felicity, Sean’s mother, who is convinced of his innocence.  This multi-layered play aims to jolt the audience into exploring parameters of consent, focussing on the impact of toxic coercive relationships, the power of social media and the need for healthy sexual boundaries especially when alcohol or drugs blur the lines.

Directed ‘in the round’ by David Trevaskis, at The Cockpit theatre in Marylebone, London, the audience experience the power of ‘close up’ theatre and ultimately come to their own conclusion on what exactly constitutes consent.

Comments from a rehearsed reading included:

“This makes the audience ask questions they may not want to answer.”

“Makes you re-evaluate your boundaries.”

“Powerful, stirring and unnerving.”

Ran from 22 September until 9 October, 2021 at The Cockpit, and was a huge success.

Age Guidance: 16+, sexual content, swearing and reference to rape

Poster Design @catweb

The Spectator

Every teenager and student in the country should see this play. This is a script to raise whirlwinds.

London Theatre Review

An important piece for our times.

The Reviews Hub

Should be seen by everyone over the age of consent.

London Theatre 1

Plenty of food for thought.

That Stagey Blog

 Congratulations to everyone involved. Stunning performances and brilliant writing.

Interview with Carolyn Lloyd-Davies


Calum Wragg-Smith

Calum Wragg-Smith
plays Sean Jackson

Georgina Armfield

Georgina Armfield
plays Anna McIntyre

Louise Bangay

Louise Bangay
plays Felicity Jackson

Amantha Edmead

Amantha Edmead
plays Vivienne Okeke/Suzy Persad

Steve Chusak

Steve Chusak
plays Dr James Tang

Rebecca Hunt

Rebecca Hunt
plays DC Jane Novak

Mike Anfield

Mike Anfield
plays DS Barry Lee

Charlotte Gamble

Charlotte Gamble
Understudy/ASM Anna McIntyre

Luke Daniels

Luke Daniels
Understudy/ASM Sean Jackson


Director:   David Trevaskis

Technical Stage Manager:   Cory Duffill

Movement Director:  Emma Webb

Lighting Design:   Roberto Esquenazi Alkabes

Set Design:   Sorcha Corcoran

Sound Design/Stage Manager:   Stephanie Connell


Writer/Co-Producer:    Carolyn Lloyd Davies

Co-Producer/Casting Director:   Stephanie Connell




Every teenager and student in the country should see this play. Conferences and public forums should be convened to discuss its ramifications. This is a script to raise whirlwinds.



The subject of rape is very difficult to navigate in any artistic medium, and apart from the off-stage audio that distracts the audience more than it helps, Penetration manages to find an adequate balance on the subject of rape. This piece doesn’t claim to be the authority on rape, as no piece should. But it does raise more questions on our perceptions than it answers, and that is where the true beauty lies.

This is an important piece for our times, and unfortunately a theme that is becoming increasingly relevant in recent years.




There’s a lot of talking heads in the show, with various personal conversations as well as the police interviews. Thankfully, it doesn’t drag, and an intriguing script offers some interesting perspectives, most notably (for me) a level of faith in the criminal justice system that doesn’t seem to tally with the experiences of victims and survivors of rape elsewhere. Even Government ministers have apologised to victims, saying they are “deeply ashamed” of record low conviction rates in recent years.

Plenty of food for thought in a realistic scenario that is far from an open and shut case.




The play is well written and performed, and even though parts of the script feel slightly too didactic to be completely natural, the story never drags or fails to hold our attention.  In the programme it says the play “aims to jolt the audience into exploring parameters of consent” – and on that front, it certainly succeeds. This relevant and hard-hitting piece will provoke some strong opinions, and it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it will certainly get audiences thinking, and talking, and that’s an essential first step in bringing about change.



Wow, I’m speechless! That was a very very brilliant production, very well written, very authentic, very well crafted.  It’s a sensitive topic which I think was handled very well, I think the actors portrayed it incredibly well.  What I think I found the most  incredible about the production was that they did well to present both sides of the argument and left you, as the audience, to determine how you felt watching it, which is what you want in theatre.

I think it’s an important topic and I think consent is up for discussion. Congratulations to everyone involved. Stunning performances and brilliant writing.




This is one of those plays that will leave the audience arguing at the end about the issues it raises. Carolyn Lloyd-Davies has based it on true cases of alleged rape, cases everyone has probably read about when, after a party and drunk, a young man stays behind in the hostesses flat, they share a bed and at some point sex happens without her consent she says. 

Everyone has views but there is no way I want to enter into the arguments here, partly because I do not know the legal position with any certainty but also, as the play makes clear, in such cases newspapers get involved reporting the stort, social media erupts with abuse, comment – and worse – from people who hold views on rape, sometimes ill informed. and which damage the recipient, not necessarily the person charged, who has said something they disagree with.



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