written by Lucy Prebble | directed by Jane Lobb
Performance dates: 26 September to 01 October 2016
For six nights, a small, slick cast brought Lucy Prebble‘s clinical romance The Effect to life on the Beckenham Theatre stage. Asking deep, searching questions about psycho-pharmaceuticals and their effects on the human brain, The Effect featured virtuoso performances from Wendy Jardine (playing the doctor in charge of a clinical trial) Thomas Ewen and Alice Young (as the two central drug trial volunteers) and Duncan King (as a celebrated doctor whose reputation depends on the trial’s success). Neatly directed by Jane Lobb, the show played to packed audiences who all seemed to leave the Beckenham Theatre auditorium deep in thought.
“The Effect at Beckenham Theatre knocked my socks off! Amazing performances, fantastic direction – don’t miss it!” – Helen Gush
“Interval of The Effect at Beckenham Theatre questioning every thought and movement I’ve ever had and made. Wendy Jardine + cast in control!” – Jordan W Eaton
“Well I’m no theatre critic but I found that moving and profound, thanks Beckenham Theatre!” – Luke Lewis
“I absolutely loved The Effect last night. Brilliant staging great casting and superb directing. It flowed so well and was flawless.
Well done to all of you. Go see it people. It will get those brain juices flowing!!!! Thanks Jane Lobb and Co for a brilliant evenings entertainment” – Emma Berryman
“Managed to see the show last night…An excellent nights entertainment ..well suited to the BTC stage..Congratulations to Jane Lobb & the cast on their success” – Paul Green
“Brilliantly performed, directed and staged; honest, raw emotions played out to perfection. Don’t miss it… Thank you all for a fantastic evening.” – Emma Kerby Evans
“Well done to the cast & crew of The Effect. Outstanding performances all round & excellent direction.” – Niki Mylonas
The Effect is a clinical romance. Two young volunteers, Tristan and Connie, agree to take part in a clinical drug trial. Succumbing to the gravitational pull of attraction and love, however, Tristan and Connie manage to throw the trial off-course, much to the frustration of the clinicians involved. This funny, moving and perhaps surprisingly human play explores questions of sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine, alongside ideas of fate, loyalty and the inevitability of physical attraction.
Following on from the critical and commercial success of Enron, The Effect is the latest play from Lucy Prebble. It was co-produced by Headlong and was first performed at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre in February 2013.
Prebble’s setting is a posh clinic where paid volunteers take part in pharmaceutical drug trials. We meet two of the guinea pigs: Tristan – boisterously flirty – and Connie, a bright psychology student.
As they take ever stronger dosages, they are closely monitored by a psychiatrist, Lorna, who is herself being supervised by another doctor, Toby, with whom she enjoys an edgily tense relationship. But, escaping Lorna’s policing, Tristan and Connie start to fall in love. What they are not sure of is whether their new found passion is instinctive or a by-product of dopamine.
Dr Lorna James – Wendy Jardine
Dr Toby Sealey – Duncan King
Connie Hall – Alice Young
Tristan Frey – Thomas Ewen