Sex, drugs and breakdowns,” publicity manager Rowan Keith responds when I ask her to describe “The Effect” in three words. Without hesitation. And she’s not wrong. As I take my seat in the M&D room, I am suddenly confronted with a scene of chaos, two people talking loudly about their respective libidos. But then, what did I expect from EUTCo’s production of Lucy Prebble’s, “The Effect”? A play that centres on the lives of four individuals and their experimentation with an anti-depressant drugs test. In a clinical, claustrophobic environment emotions between two teens are bound to run rampant. But to what extent is this passion simply “The Effect” of a new drug?
“[PREBBLE] manages to tackle the issues in an accessible and engaging way”
Director, Alex Benjamin says Prebble’s engagement with scientific questions is what drew him to the play. He tells me that her writing “crackles with energy,” yet she manages to tackle these substantial issues in a way that is accessible and engaging for a wide range of audiences. Her style is simplistic, yet the challenges she decides to confront are ambitious and demanding. Prebble’s writing walks this fine line with ease, never straying from the “big questions” and yet never becoming pretentious.
Instantly I’m drawn into the performance. The small cast of Erin Blackmore, Olivia Denton, Lewis Plumb and James Murphy have clearly built a tight-knit chemistry. Their scenes move from intense and sexual to romantic and sweet seamlessly. Watching their acting is simply a joy. The play promises to be visually impressive and technology heavy to create the Big Brother- esque atmosphere of the experimental trial. This will only enhance what is at base- level, brilliant writing performed by a talented cast, led by a passionate director and equally dedicated producer.
Watching their acting is simply a joy
So what are you waiting for? If university is about anything, it’s about sex, drugs and breakdowns.
“The Effect,” is being performed at Kay House on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December at Kay House. Find out more on the Facebook page.