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The Secondary Victim

Against a backdrop of our current blame culture, Ali (Susanah Doyle) fights for her marriage and personal reputation when Hugo (Michael Hanratty) makes allegations of sexual misconduct against her. The climax of the play is the Ethical Panel review where the question is asked many times - who is telling the truth And is it the whole truth? Gary Webster, Natasha Bain, Matt Holt, and Christopher Laishley are also a part of this powerful and eomtional drama. 

See below for reviews.

Reviews for The Secondary Victim


Offie Nomination - Best Actress (Susannah Doyle)

“Matthew Campling’s new play The Secondary Victim, directed by Matthew Gould, could hardly be more timely… It’s an ingenious play characterised by impeccably written, very convincing dialogue between different pairs of characters. Campling worked for twenty years as a therapist and his understanding of the processes, problems and dangers informs every word. Not that there’s anything dry about it. He has also created a thoughtful fictional scenario which works well as drama and holds the interest for most of the time which is quite an achievement.” - Susan Elkin

"[Offies Best Actress award-nominated] Susannah Doyle as Ali is compelling as a woman forced to examine her entire personality... Only those absolutely sure that they could never have anything thrown at them in the modern moral stocks could fail to find interest in this terrifying and timely play." - Mark Lawson, The Tablet

“Merging theatre and therapy, the play hits the right tone of intimacy and exposure, reaching the level of a psychological thriller… As the audience sits around watching not only the scenes unfold but also each other’s reactions, the immersion as voyeurs into staged therapy is achieved.” - A Younger Theatre

“It is a brave move to bring a play on psychotherapy to North London, it being a stamping ground for many practitioners, but Campling’s confidence is well placed… While Campling tells a story of three psychotherapists using a client centred approach, he does not shy away from showing the potential shortcomings of the process.  Ultimately he makes us realise that those that give emotional support are not immune from needing it themselves. He does this with a timely, on-the-money play that sees its various well-woven plot lines all reaching climaxes, some of which will surprise.” - Shaw Sheet ★★★★

“But this is not a play with a limited appeal only to professionals or recipients of therapy. On the evening we attended there was a packed house and we found members of the audience enjoying the play without any prior knowledge or experience of the therapeutic process. This is in part due to the tightly constructed plot and the small but exceptional cast… In this play, Matthew Campling achieves his aim of creating ‘real people’ as opposed to ‘opaque therapists’.” - European Journal of Counselling Theory, Research and Practice 

“Presenting intriguing and perceptive questions about a society that tends to place excessive value on hearsay before knowing the facts, The Secondary Victim is a poignant, well-constructed, thought-provoking piece.” - The Upcoming ★★★★


“The end scene is thrilling in its ambiguity... It is unclear if psychological warfare or closure is intended as it gives hints in both directions. As the genre of the play is open for interpretation, this choice of ending positions the audience as active perceiver.” - A Younger Theatre

“As a therapist himself for twenty years, Matthew Campling writes with obvious insight and takes the audience on an uncomfortable but fascinating journey, leading us to a climatic ending. Well worth a trip to Finsbury Park for this gem.” - London Box Office ★★★★

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