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The Effect - Lucy Prebble, Billie Piper, Rupert Goold, Cottesloe

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#41 vickster51

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:26 PM

Yikes! I'll bear that in mind when I go tomorrow night!

#42 Loopyjohn

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

To help anyone who is going - it's billed as running about 2hrs 40mins including a 20min interval, and that was about right tonight.  I thought Act 1 was much stronger than Act 2.  I liked the idea of the trial, and meeting the participants, but the story became very confused in Act 2 and I lost sight of what Lucy Prebble was trying to say.  To his credit, Rupert Goold has reigned in his usual passion for lots of theatrical tricks and kept things relatively simple.  I thought the cast of 4 worked very hard indeed - enjoyed Billie Piper's performance very much, as I did in "Reasons to be Pretty".  The NT's decision to release a fairly large number of seats over the last few days left the crazy situation that a play that has been billed as solidly sold out for months had prime empty seats tonight.

#43 Nicholas

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

Oh, fantastic.  I've been trying to sort out dates for things for about a fortnight now and with tickets for this suddenly available I booked for this just after the Mark Rylance platform in January this morning full of excitement.  To do so I had to move The Magistrate, which I was planning on seeing then, to this month, which meant I just had to forego a couple of other things I'd like.  Now this turns out to be pants.  Wonderful.

#44 mallardo

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

First of all, take a big bow Billie Piper, Jonjo O'Neill, Anastasia Stille and Tom Goodman-Hill.  Superb performances all.  And sitting right IN the set, as we were - more of an environment than a set - we got to see them up close and personal.  Billie Piper spent part of the evening squatting on a coffee table literally inches away from me.

The production is excellent.  The play?   It should have been given another rewrite.  Lucy Prebble writes great dialogue and strong dramatic scenes.  She is also very funny.  What she doesn't do well is structure. As in Enron, the play really ends about twenty minutes before the lights finally go out. So the aftertaste is of a long slow fade out in which all the energy of the main action is allowed to drain off into a soupy sludge of scenes which attempt to resolve things but, in fact, only complicate them.

The issue of the piece - the pharmaceutical industry's destructive drive to medicate depression by stimulating an artificial excitement that might even be mistaken for love - is dealt with intelligently.  There is a lot of very good argument, mainly from the two doctors, Stille and Goodman-Hill.  The argument is illustrated by two test subjects, Piper and O'Neill, and the scenes with them are entertaining and  intriguing. The actors are a credible couple.  O'Neill especially is a larger than life character and totally engaging.  He has a musical number in Act One where he tap dances - again, on the coffee tables - to a Frank Sinatra record that is the highlight of the evening.  But what does it say about a play of ideas when this is the case?

Someone mentioned not quite getting what the author was trying to say and I share that feeling.  In the end I was more confused than enlightened.  But I was not bored, so there is that.  And four wonderful performances.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#45 william demarest

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

I saw this last night as well and agree completely with Mallardo.  There are a lot of things to enjoy at this play and if you are a regular theatregoer I can't imagine you would regret going.  Hopefully they can make a few changes to tighten things up at the end - first preview after all.

Rupert Goold was sitting in the middle of the second row pit (in my line of sight) and at several instances he mouthed the words along with the characters.  Was that ever distracting!

#46 Poly

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:14 PM

We went tonight and it's a cracker. Very interesting play, great staging, great performances by all four actors. Several enduring images / very strong individual scenes. Palpably positive reaction in the room. It was second preview and felt ready for press night.
Cottesloe has a fantastic year as far as I am concerned, Curious Incident, This House and now this. 

#47 Lynette

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

Maybe Cottesloe back to its glorious promise. It used to be the place I enjoyed the most.

#48 xanderl

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

View PostLynette, on 08 November 2012 - 09:06 AM, said:

Maybe Cottesloe back to its glorious promise. It used to be the place I enjoyed the most.

Don't get too attached, it'll be closing for a couple of years soon!
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#49 fringefan

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

When it reopens, perhaps Travelex or another company would like to sponsor some seats there.  Never any reductions for the Cottesloe (other than slightly lower preview prices), yet it's home to some of the NT's best work.  Surely there'd be some commercial cachet in being associated with many of the current productions?

#50 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

The Cottesloe is cheap compared to the NT's other two auditoria. £32 top price, some bargainous £12 seats in row T. The trouble is it can be difficult to get the seats in the first place, though the Dorfman will hold more. Meanwhile, we'll have The Shed- seating less than the Cottesloe. Good luck getting tickets there!






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