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The Effect

From 161 member  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. More…

Hearts racing. Minds reeling. Knees buckling. Connie and Tristan have palpable chemistry—or is it a side effect of a new super-antidepressant? They are volunteers in a clinical trial, but their sudden and illicit romance forces the supervising doctors to face off over the ethical consequences of their work. Directed by David Cromer.

Member Reviews (161)


Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Clever
Avg Score

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

Intelligent, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky, Challenging

See it if you enjoy intelligent theatre with terrific performances and great direction. David Cromer is one of our great directors.

Don't see it if you do not like intelligent theatre.

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Edgy

See it if you want your theatre complex and challenging with a constant collision of ideas, an accomplished & attractive cast that doesn't flinch

Don't see it if you can't empathise with people in pain

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you question pharmaceutical solutions to mental health care & and you enjoy a layered well acted story. Very nice staging too.

Don't see it if you want a happy ending, you think depression isn't debilitating or you're turned off by simulated sex on stage.

Absorbing, Relevant, Great writing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy theater which takes a "what if" approach and explores scenarios and themes that you might overlook in everyday life

Don't see it if you don't like plays that force you to think how its themes matter outside of the actual play, you want clearly defined resolutions

Absorbing, Intelligent, Original, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Interesting topic. Very original and relevant to our times. The story kept me invested, and the actors did a good job. Nice set.

Don't see it if I wished the end had a more definite resolution. Almost seemed like the author didn't know what was going to happen to these people.

Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky, Profound

See it if Enjoy well written, well performed work about life.

Don't see it if Depression is a serious issue for you

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Original, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You want to see a thought provoking show that sets up an interesting set of circumstances.

Don't see it if You need to get a satisfying resolution.

Original, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in phsycological drama and unusual plots, even if delivered somewhat amaterurishly.

Don't see it if you like well developed characters whose behavior seems appropriate for the story plot.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Challenging

See it if You question the ethics of human guinea pigs. You ever wonder who you really are and whether your emotions are "real"

Don't see it if You like like unambiguous theater. You prefer to be entertained rather than listen to heavy dialogue.

Intelligent, Relevant, Original, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like original stories that make you think. It is a very clever & though-provoking take on the effects of drugs for depression.

Don't see it if you like clear-cut answers, happy endings, & for romance. Saw it with replacements for the 2 leads and didn't feel the chemistry

Ambitious, Original, Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you want an out of the ordinary play on a topic that is fascinating.

Don't see it if you want to not think about what you're watching.

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in seeing a thought-provoking piece tackling mental illness and experimental drug trials.

Don't see it if you're offended by language, nudity, or are looking for a lighter, comedic night at the theatre.

Cliched, Disappointing, Great staging, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You don't know enough about how dangerous mind-altering medications can be. This show came too late--we know everything it has to say now.

Don't see it if You have anything better to do.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You appreciate thoughtful, original, relevant. memorable but disturbing drama

Don't see it if You do not appreciate dark themes and drama but, rather, enjoy primarily fluffy musicals and mindless low comedy

Relevant, Slow, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if you want a play exploring human passions...are they real or drug induced. By the author of the Broadway show Enron.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy medical or drug experiment plays.

Lots of yelling, Unclear story, Disappointing, Thought-provoking

See it if Raises interesting questions about drug trials. Story is contrived and not always clear. Expected much more.

Don't see it if You want a fun time at the theater, want to laugh or romanticize. If you take psychotropics & concerned with the effects positive/negative.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Relevant

See it if Edgy, relevant, theater.

Don't see it if You're not prepared to think.

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. Pr...
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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 ...
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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 break...
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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 melod...
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