Saturday, 11 November 2017

“The Effect” by Lucy Prebble
Nottingham New Theatre
“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.But the volunteers aren't the only ones under the microscope!
This is the sort of play that raises more questions than answers, especially in today’s world of modern medicine and what is, or isn’t available and possible in the world of medical and clinical trials.
The play digs deeply into the mysteries of the mind, and also examines the nature of depressive illness. Are anti-depressant drugs any more than a placebo, the play asks, and is being depressed just a natural part of the human condition rather than an illness?
Lois Baglin (Connie Hall) and Luke Slater (Tristan Frey) play the volunteers while Kate Maguire (Dr Lorna James) and Louis Djalili (Dr Toby Sealey) are the ones in charge of the clinical experiments.
All four were excellent with an amazing amount of passion in the characters, but Kate for me was so composed to start with, clinical in her role and delivery but when the human side of the character started to break through, well, and what happened after was a bit of a surprise!
Watching these four actors was like being a fly on the wall because the naturalistic way these four not only interact, but deliver the lines, doesn't come across as being part of a play. It's as if we weren't there. The fluidity of the delivery was a very comfortable watch, even if at times the subject matter wasn't.
Directed by Felicity Chilver and Produced by Rosie Hudson this pair make a great team. Making sure that the tension was forever bubbling under is an art, and this production team, as well as the actors got it spot on for me.

The Lighting Designer for this play is Sam Osbourne and Sound Designer is Andrew Houghton. Both aspects of theatre that is vital to the whole atmosphere and feel and these two made sure that we felt uneasy with the soundscape while highlighting sections with the lighting, ever pointing us to where we should be looking.
The Set itself was clinical white with two low beds and a smattering of medical props, while two screens guided us with what was happening medication wise. The Technical Director for this was Ben Woodford. It also ensured that we were aware of when the play had ended.
Stage manager is Amy Crighton
The play has been running since Wednesday 8 November until this evening Saturday 11 November 2017.

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