In today’s sporting culture, athletes are resorting to taking performance enhancing drugs in order to triumph in their sports events and this has lead to the rules and regulations to be increasingly tightened, so which of the athletes are actually genuine and winning fairly? The Park Theatre’s production of, Jonathan Maitland’s play, ‘Deny, Deny, Deny’ portrays how manipulative trainers can be and how relationships are put to the test, likewise, the offerings were of a good standard.
‘Deny, Deny, Deny’ is set in the present where we are made known of runner, Eve and her sports journalist boyfriend, Tom who even though they’re from the opposite ends of the sporting landscape, it appears that their bond is immensely strong. At first, Eve follows the rules by drinking healthy protein shakes that is full of the nutrients and this is because Eve is striving for an Olympic Gold medal but by winning it in a genuine way. However, when Eve who is currently searching for a new coach and when she meets scary and disturbing sports coach, Rona, Eve’s honestly will cease to exist as her quest for success will ultimately damage all aspects of her life. Over the course of the performance, Rona forces Eve to dump her boyfriend, Tom because Rona explains that Tom will ruin her chances of the gold medal and Rona introduces Eve to a radically awful solution where the athlete injects chemicals with a protein solution that increases levels of red blood cells that intensifies oxygen delivers into the muscles which in turn aids in the athletes performance. Rona for me personally is a vulgar piece of work where she uses transphobic language to ridicule a transgender athlete in a press interview and as such; it appears that she will resort to great lengths to promote Eve despite the fact that she is hurting a community that I most admire. Progressively, when Eve’s ex-boyfriend, Tom who forms an alliance with Rona’s former protégée, Joyce who has a few scores to settle and Tom and Joyce are increasingly keen to expose Rona’s disgraceful methods in order to get her rising star to the top and this is also due to the fact that Eve is moving more to the top of her game. Throughout the performance, we see an almighty class between Tom and Rona where again, she goads him and states that what he does for a living as a spots journalist is pathetic and that his positon in the sports world is non-existent. A full investigation is soon launched and Rona is suspended from sport for the foreseeable future and at the finale Eve and Tom somewhat reunite and unfortunately their relationship can never be resolved which shows that Eve thought about herself and not the consequences that taking these shots would do to her career and her reputation in the sporting arena. Maitland’s narrative is rather stylish as the scenes are slick and quick which is a bit like an athletics event and in actual fact in today’s sporting doping scandal is quite prominent and poignant as this is exactly what is going on and many athletes are suspended for doing the same thing as Eve has done.
One found the performances by the company of, ‘Deny, Deny, Deny’ to be excellent as an array of the moments in the plotline conveys the bitterness and the not truthful tensions that exudes from the characters from the proxemics specifically. Juma Sharkah is impressive as the wannabe gold medallist, Eve; principally how we see that with accepting Rona’s offer as her sports coach would lead to her downfall and it is a shame to see that as she basically pushed her boyfriend Tom to the bottom of the pile which makes her an unsympathetic individual. Zoe Waites is fantastic as the villainous sports coach, Rona; expressly the vindictiveness that she shows when she presses peoples buttons i.e. Tom and with this it suggests to me that she does not have a decent side to her and that she has destroyed Eve’s chances for success and this is not right. Daniel Fraser is lovely as Eve’s journalist boyfriend, Tom; largely how pretty upset he becomes as Eve shows a lack of trust and when she dumps him, I see that with Tom that he has to get revenge in order to make him feel much better and I liked the moments that he has with Rona and it is obvious they hate each other. Shvorne Marks is pleasing as Rona’s ex-star, Joyce; predominantly how at the beginning of the play we see that she has the correct attitude when it comes to earning her trophies and when her coach knows she won’t partake in any activity that is not appropriate then she will be sacked and pulled down to the dumper.
Brendan O’Hea’s direction is stunning here as what he has accomplished with Maitland’s plot allows the audience to be transfixed in a momentous story about what really goes on behind the scenes in the world of sport and the unjust acts that sports coaches can put on their athletes and how the relationships of people can be finished because of pressure from an individual and the movement direction by John Ross really captured the athleticism of the track and field parts that are there in the show. Polly Sullivan’s design is sound as a pound as she has tried to show how athletes are trained such as the gymnasium and the actual track and field stadiums and with the lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Mic Pool aided in the movement sequences that could be compare to the West End hit, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’. Overall, the experience of, ‘Deny, Deny, Deny’ to be an insight into what can occur and that you need to be really careful with which coach you should choose.