Connie is a beautiful psychology student. Tristan is a charming slacker. They are both “guinea pigs” in a clinical experiment for a new “super-drug”. Sealed off from the real world and monitored by two bickering doctors, the attraction between Connie and Tristan becomes increasingly intense, passionate and out of control, even as their daily dosage of the drug gets stronger.
Is this a chemical romance – a side effect of the drug? Or is it “the real thing”?
A brilliant examination of the human brain via the heart, The Effect explores questions of sanity, the ethical minefield of neuroscience, today’s pill-popping culture, and the very nature of this thing we call “LOVE”.
The Effect premiered to great acclaim at London’s National Theatre in 2012, winning the UK Critic’s Circle Award for Best New Play.
“The best production of 2016 so far...elevated by the intelligence of Lucy Prebble's script, the airtight direction of Tracie Pang and a quartet of actors whose combined charms can persuade any government to purchase any drug at any price...the two central performances are revelatory: Linden Furnell fills the leading man's shoes with verve and vigour; Nikki Muller demonstrates grace and sensitivity...both are outstanding; Tan Kheng Hua is an entrancing presence, sharp and intense, scarred but supremely determined; Adrian Pang is as convincing as always, delivering an acting equivalent of a Houdini escape: he appears to be something of a 'slick d*ck' at first, only to be revealed as someone with a heart...
Pangdemonium has once again staged an incredibly polished and assured production. That effect is real - not a placebo.”
“Tracie Pang delivers another instance of effortless direction that keeps this play funny, moving and constantly engaging...witty, humorous, spirited, charming, joyful…Muller and Furnell turn in one of their strongest performances to date with a chemistry that truly sets the stage ablaze.”
“THE EFFECT continues Pangdemonium's long streak of top-notch productions...bitingly funny, brilliantly researched play...Furnell and Muller bring convincing nervous energy to their roles, Pang is deliciously restrained; perhaps the brightest in this complement of stars is Tan Kheng Hua.”
Tan Kheng Hua
25 Feb - 13 Mar 2016
Power To The People
“Watching Pangdemonium’s The Effect, I am once again awestruck by three facts: one, that Pangdemonium’s choice of scripts are always top-notch - intelligent, evocative, stimulating and relevant; two, they then go on to stage them in the most enthralling, enlivening and entertaining way; and most impressively, that director Tracie Pang is singularly able to always get the absolute best performances from her cast. In every production, she skilfully pushes and stretches each actor to surprise and astonish the audience (and probably the actors themselves) beyond anything they’ve demonstrated thus far.
Relatively young actors are mentored and moulded to shine, and seasoned actors are pushed out of their comfort zones to give career-high performances. And her meticulous staging and directorial flourishes are impeccable - never overbearing or ostentatious, always subtle and stylish. Simply great theatre. Bravo, Pangdemonium!”
“I caught THE EFFECT in London in 2012, and I’ve also read the script, so I know what a challenging piece this is. So i was hugely impressed by Pangdemonium’s interpretation of it! Under the expert direction of Tracie Pang, Pangdemonium's telling of this story was witty, poignant, passionate and made a whole new impact on me on so many levels.
Plus excellent production values, wonderful performances, and an all-round superb theatrical experience.”
“Another amazing theatre experience courtesy of Pangdemonium! Since seeing their production of Next to Normal back in 2013, we have been huge fans and haven’t missed a production (tip is to become Season pass holders)! The Effect also deals with mental illness to equally good impact but a different take. It is entertaining, challenging, brilliantly acted, helped of course by the excellent staging and directing.
Fight to get tickets if you have to, but go see it!”
“Just when you think you've seen them at their best, Pangdemonium produces another show that outdoes their last one! THE EFFECT is funny, surprising, poignant, thought-provoking, powerful, and makes us ask ourselves all sorts of disturbing questions. It's also an important exploration of mental health issues.
Brilliant work once again by director Tracie Pang, her excellent creative team and wonderful cast. Catch this show or you'll regret it!”
“Absorbing, passionate production with a strong cast. It was intellectual too - even though the subject matter is still very much a mystery. I admired how the topic of depression was handled so courageously. Oh, I have to say the set/ lighting was ingenious! I’m now beginning to wonder if I'm on a placebo or on drugs.
I keep falling in love with Pangdemonium's productions more and more. Again, bravo to the cast and crew!”
“Always a good night with Pangdemonium! Stellar cast, meaningful message - your mind is a very powerful asset, so use it consciously and wisely. Everyone around you is battling something, even if it might not seem the case. Always see things beyond that shiny surface. Be kind… Love these guys for always picking hard-hitting and thought-provoking texts.
Thank you, Pangdemonium, for being the loud-speakers that not many dare to be.”
“Excellent script, smart and compassionate...moving, outstanding performances, with special mention to Nikki Muller...the giddy first act belongs to the young couple, and the older couple will break your heart in the second act...THE EFFECT is effective AND affective.”
“I had the pleasure of watching Pangdemonium’s The Effect and it blew me away...it made me feel – Happy. I was happy to leave a theatre with my head filled with questions I will probably never be able to answer. I was happy to know our theatre industry is stocked with actors who can command an audience to silence or laughter with a cheeky grin or a perfectly belted one-liner. I was happy to see creative vision executed flawlessly from a very challenging source text.
I was very happy to hear robust conversations commence as soon as the house lights went up. Pangdemonium has put together a belter of a play here. Go see it. You need the happiness.”
“You have to catch The Effect!!!!!! It was absolutely amazing! The cast was PERFECT, & the entire play was very very thought-provoking. Its not just about sex or love or drug, but bigger issues in life. & I thought that it was a very clever way to talk about the stigma surrounding depression.
It was all sooooo gooood!!! I reaaallly loved it & I've watched quite a number of plays but I still think this is THE BEST ONE.”
“The Effect is made vastly enjoyable to watch by the the people behind the characters. Nikki Muller and Linden Furnell share a palpable chemistry and easy banter that makes Connie and Tristan’s passionate romance heartrending, endearing and breathtaking all at once. Tan Kheng Hua shines in her role as Dr James, realistically and respectfully presenting the struggles that the mentally ill face on a daily basis, and Adrian Pang keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, eliciting laughs and gasps.
The cast works together seamlessly, upping the ante every time it seems like something’s finally going well, and makes the two and a half hours worth of plot seem like no time at all. The Effect masterfully explores the murky depths of Big Pharma, questions the fallibility of science, depicts the reality of living with mental illness, and poses its audience some very difficult questions which leave one trying to catch their breath when the curtain goes down.
This is one drug trial you won’t regret volunteering for.”