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

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#91 fringefan

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:48 AM

I'm relieved to hear that the mystery fish didn't actually feature in the play, and as I was sitting at one end, I assume they must have been at the other.  As to the length, the matinee didn't finish until 5.15 pm (meaning I missed the film I was aiming to see afterwards), and even if it started a few minutes late, that's all it was, i.e. nearly 2 hours 45 mins, whereas the advertised running time is shorter.  So maybe it has slipped a little during the run, though I thought that was the sort of thing the director was supposed to monitor?  And what, if anything, to omit?  Well, I would happily have sacrificed some of Toby, with his jarring declaiming style (he was the only one of the four who seemed to me out of kilter with the others) and the increasingly unconvincing backstory of his relationship with Lorna.  And/or some editing of Lorna's final scenes, though some of these were shared.  I think there were changes and revelations enough without that particular strand, or the way it was depicted.  But I'm sure others will have loved that part and thought it key...

#92 Honoured Guest

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

Anastasia Hille was super-excellently human and believable (although she teeters on the cusp of inaudibility at times, as always), Billie Piper and Jonjo O'Neill were very good (and I think I'd have warmed to them even more if I'd been seated closer, in the pit) but I found Tom Goodman-Hill a bit wooden and stagey in comparison. He seemed to me to play the text rather than to play a character, but perhaps I reacted to him like that because his character is much the least likable.

No one else here has mentioned the strong echoes of Shakespeare, especially A Midsummer Night's Dream, and also aspects of Anthony Neilson's Stitching and Pinter's A Kind of Alaska.

I wonder how well this play stands up with people who actually know and understand its subjects well. I sensed that it wasn't too wrongheaded and that it gave itself licence to simplify some of the issues by being clearly an entertainment. It successfully covers a lot of ground apart from the main story or theme of clinical trials. I very much preferred this to Lucy Kirkwood's NSFW at the Royal Court which I felt suffered from being about a much more limited and almost trivial subject, despite the pleasure of a wonderful part for and performance by Janie Dee.

#93 Dragononmyback

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I saw this at the matinee last Saturday and have to say I enjoyed it very much. Thought the acting was great all round and the subject matter quite thought provoking.

#94 Beth

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

For those who've not managed to nab a ticket yet, most dates have some availability again, including pit seats.

#95 Nicholas

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:22 AM

Saw this about a month ago.  I think it's nearly brilliant.  Cast very good except for Anastasia Hille who's very very very good.  Fascinating ideas and brilliantly explored.  About half an hour too long, not because it's got superfluous scenes but she just rambles from time to time.  It felt like the penultimate draft of an absolutely phenomenal play, and though I thought it very good I'm a bit miffed we never got to that phenomenal level.

#96 flower1984

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:19 PM

I saw this the other day and thought it was superb! I couldn't help but think of 'becuase we want to' which sort of spoilt it....anyway does anyone know the name of the song/singer at the end of the play? I loved it and have no idea who sung it. Thanks

#97 Stevemar

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

A bit late on this one, but first thanks to the WOS posters who gave the tip offs for late release tickets. This meant that I saw the otherwise "sold out" play in previews in November and also made a return visit in the last week (bagging a front row seat). On the first viewing, I would tend to agree with the posts about this being an imperfect slightly overlong play. But the ability to fuse a touching storyline and thought provoking arguments must make Lucy Prebble one of the best new writers we have (better here than Enron).

On my second viewing after three months, the natural rapport between the cast was more marked, and all the performances far more deeply felt and surprisingly funny (in the first half). The dialogue - particularly the scene where both test subjects (separately) discuss their symptons, and the violent argument between Connie and Tristan were superbly done.

The 2hr 45 went past very quickly as I was able to appreciate the arguments more, and particularly the affecting performance of Anastasia Hille who was simply spectacular in the second half when her character simply implodes but in a quiet way. Pretty much the top 2 or 3 plays of 2012 for me, and I think this will be difficult to beat as the play of 2013 too.. This play, which asks more questions than answers, definitely deserves a wider audience.

Oh, does anyone know the song at the end? Oh, and for anyone who is interested, there is quite an interesting interview with Billie Piper at http://theeffectplay.com/ . And finally, on a completely superficial level, Jonjo O'Neill is rather magnificent :P

#98 xy_whitefaerie

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:17 AM

I agree with you about everything Stevemar, though it seems a little too soon to say that it'll be the play of 2013 ^_^ Anastasia Hille was truly amazing- she started off as an understated doctor but as the play progresses, her acting becomes more and more compelling. The chemistry between the casts were brilliant as well, especially between Billie Piper and Jonjo O'Neill. Lucy Prebble's not only a good writer, she's one with great humour: loved the incorporation of the tap-dance, and the part where Jonjo O'Neill broke into a song. Wished I had a chance to watch it a second time. I guess I'll have to be contented with the fact that I managed to watch it before it closed.

The song at the end is Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson.

#99 James84

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I just didn't get all the fuss about this play. Yes, it's an interesting plot and well acted, but I didn't leave thinking I'd seen a profound piece of theatre. I certainly wouldn't have gone again and actually felt it dragged at some points with some quite dull writing in parts.

#100 Stevemar

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

View Postxy_whitefaerie, on 24 February 2013 - 02:17 AM, said:

..loved the incorporation of the tap-dance, and the part where Jonjo O'Neill broke into a song. Wished I had a chance to watch it a second time.
The song at the end is Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson.

Thanks for the song - ah, that brings it back! I suspect the tap dance and songs may have(partly) been a Rupert Gould touch, since at least on Enron he had a big influence on adapting the script in collaboration with the writer.

James - I agree on the first viewing my mind wandered several times during the second half, but it was partly the questions after viewing the first time, that brought me back. And I do think sitting closer to the actors made a difference also in drawing you in.




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