The Effect

The Effect NYC Reviews and Tickets

(161 Reviews)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Clever

About the Show

Britain's National Theatre, Jean Doumanian Productions and Barrow Street Theater present the American premiere of a new play that takes on our pill-popping culture with humor and drama.

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Member Reviews (161)

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1014 Reviews | 419 Followers
Thought-provoking, Original, Intelligent, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if You're looking for a show that's entertaining and topical.

Don't see it if You have no empathy or interest in people with mental illness.

716 Reviews | 219 Followers
Original, Biased, Misinformed, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see an original idea exploring psychiatric medications. You want to think about the ethics of the doctors and drug makers.

Don't see it if You will find the author's point of view to be biased against the doctors and drugs, as I did.

650 Reviews | 284 Followers
Brilliantly raises issues on role of drugs in affecting personality but uneven theatrically

See it if you enjoy play of ideas on danger of drugs in treating mental illness, dubious reliability of drug trials; good ensemble

Don't see it if don't enjoy characters who are more vehicles for ideas than flesh and blood, schematic plot, unsatisfying ending

677 Reviews | 190 Followers
Disappointing, Overrated, Unenlightening, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a well-acted play about real love vs. chemically-induced feelings that provokes thought but provides nothing new to the debate.

Don't see it if you expect anything profound, enlightening or esoteric about modern psychiatry, exploitation by the drug companies, or love.

535 Reviews | 488 Followers
Compelling, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want to see a great, thought-provoking, messy show about what we feel and why we feel it.

Don't see it if you can't handle shades of gray in your drama.

543 Reviews | 133 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Borderline

See it if psychology, human behavior and the study of psychotropic medications are of interest; you want to see good actors in vulnerable situations.

Don't see it if you are looking for an uplifting play or a story with a definitive solution.

485 Reviews | 315 Followers
Disappointing, Overrated, Fine acting

See it if The two actors playing the young couple were absorbing to watch. If you're interested in seeing a show about the effect of drugs on emotion

Don't see it if The young couple were excellent in their roles but the play didn't really go anywhere. What was the point?

520 Reviews | 107 Followers
Clever, Disappointing, Overrated, Original

See it if When I tell people about this play it sounds so interesting but it doesn't show when you watch this disappointing show. I still say it is

Don't see it if so so because it's such and interesting concept. Wish it could have be written better.

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
March 20th, 2016

"The irreducibility of love is the subject of 'The Effect', Lucy Prebble’s very clever — and ultimately more than clever — play, artfully directed by David Cromer...'The Effect' benefits from its smaller scale...Cromer has steered these young performers into nakedly passionate portrayals...Ms. Prebble is far too smart to find a firm resolution for the debate at the center of 'The Effect'. But in the end, she leaves room for what might be called a very loving uncertainty."
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Time Out New York
March 20th, 2016

"For a play about test subjects going through extremes, 'The Effect' leaves you slightly cold...It’s a credit to playwright Lucy Prebble’s probity and wit that these questions excite the mind, even if the heart rate remains steady...It’s a solid issue drama that allows room for debate, humor and canny twists...David Cromer’s crisply intelligent production shows a touch of Ivo van Hove's Euro-chic, multimedia approach, which suits the material well...The cast does fine work."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 22nd, 2016

"Lucy Prebble’s smashing medical drama...Prebble is superbly abetted by the director David Cromer’s sleek yet passionate production. He moves the action along so fast it may induce occasional brain whiplash, while maintaining a strong theatrical frame around the proceedings, except when he breaks it for effect. Those effects would not be as powerful as they are without the top-notch work of the cast."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 20th, 2016

"Provocative themes don't always make for compelling drama...'The Effect' is never as convincing as the intellectual arguments in which its characters frequently engage...The new play also suffers from lack of specificity — the characterizations of the protagonists are sketchy at best — and melodramatic plot developments that don't feel fully credible. Despite being cut by more than a half-hour in its transfer across the pond, the play lacks narrative momentum and often feels repetitive."
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New York Daily News
March 20th, 2016

"The mirror-image twosomes are too tidy for a play about the messiness of the medical profession and human emotions. And some twists stretch credulity...Still, the play delivers. And between the topnotch acting and director David Cromer’s brisk staging that makes smart use of projections it’s easy to go with it. 'The Effect' asks provocative questions about the head and the heart. It also manages to appeal to both. Win, win."
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AM New York
March 23rd, 2016

"'The Effect' is somewhat compromised by an on-and-off momentum, over-the-top gestures and the deliberately clinical tone. Nevertheless, it makes for a smart, unpredictable drama that asks a lot of disconcerting questions. The cast is quite effective under Cromer’s sharp direction."
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March 21st, 2016

"Prebble's script is full of memorable moments and characters that stab at the heart of Western society's troubling relationship with prescription drugs...David Cromer directs 'The Effect' with clinical precision yet somehow manages to avoid the sterility that tack often entails...The acting is satisfyingly unsafe...Brimming with challenging insight, 'The Effect' is sure to cause some heated post-show discussions, especially in our hypermedicated age."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 31st, 2016

"It's an unusual, even provocative premise...Too bad, then, that Prebble distorts her subject matter with so much hokum...The author has some mordant points to make, but she undercuts them by making her characters behave like refugees from a sweeps-week episode of 'General Hospital'...The director, David Cromer, handles the actors as well as can be expected under these increasingly unconvincing circumstances...Prebble is a writer with talent; she should learn to get out of her own way."
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