The Effect (National Theatre)
Closed 1h 40m
The Effect (National Theatre)

The Effect (National Theatre) London Reviews and Tickets

(49 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Jamie Lloyd directs Lucy Prebble’s examination of love and ethics.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (35)

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224 Reviews | 42 Followers
Must see, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if One of the best play of this year cleverly written

Don't see it if intense subjects regarding therapy and medication aren't your thing

543 Reviews | 136 Followers
Intelligent, Great staging, Must see

See it if you like well-written, gripping theater that's both intellectually and emotionally stimulating, with exceptional cast and outstanding design

Don't see it if you don't like slick lighting effects & loud music, it might feel a little alienating and distancing at times, but I felt it added urgency.

82 Reviews | 6 Followers
Must see, Entertaining

See it if Sharp, witty exploration of love and relationships, and the ethics of medicine trials. Lucy Prebble’s script performed exceptionally by cast

Don't see it if You’re looking for something realistic, this is about the central relationships not the nature of the drug trials

171 Reviews | 6 Followers
Ethics, Intriguing, Morals, Very funny, Sharp

See it if you want a journey home discussion re morals & ethics. Very funny realistic & natural dialogue. One story gradually focuses on to another.

Don't see it if you don’t want to explore themes of relationships &/or mental health.

107 Reviews | 12 Followers
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you’d like a play that makes you feel and think. If you are interested in mind and science. If you like a cleverly written text played well.

Don't see it if you have difficulties with depression related with relationships. If you prefer physically or visually entertaining theatres than wordy ones

182 Reviews | 20 Followers
Great writing, Edgy, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are like me reading the premise and instantly knowing that this is gonna be right down your alley. It makes you think even after the end

Don't see it if You can't sit on uncomfortable seats for 2 hours, they have gone for a traverse stage instead of the typical proscenium at Lyttleton Read more

135 Reviews | 11 Followers
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a well-acted, well-staged and riveting play that cleverly explores what is and is not real when chemicals are involved.

Don't see it if you want an accurate picture of medical trial protocol. I went with someone in the industry and they could point out many inconsistencies. Read more

148 Reviews | 20 Followers
Great acting, Dizzying, Absorbing

See it if You want to see some excellent actors doing excellent acing

Don't see it if You get irritated by writing and are waiting for a set Read more

Critic Reviews (11)

August 10th, 2023

“A... theatrical dissonance renders the ending underwhelming and the production more interesting than entertaining. But despite its imperfections the decision to revive ‘The Effect’ is a laudable one.”
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The London Evening Standard
August 10th, 2023

“A play of ideas about the way our brains work is welded to a ruthless 100-minute emotional arc, laced with wit and given a bittersweet ending. It receives a typically stark, urgent production from Jamie Lloyd which left me impressed and stimulated but also weirdly flat.”
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The Times (UK)
August 10th, 2023

“In a play that turns on the question of how much emotions can be manipulated by medication, the director’s sleight of hand makes you even more aware of the script’s schematic structure, not to mention its implausible aspects.”
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August 10th, 2023

“ ‘The Effect’ makes you realise just how much theatre has missed [Lucy Prebble’s] razor-sharp writing, her willingness to play with form to tackle huge subjects in a small space...Part of the power of the play is that it raises as many questions as it answers, and values emotion just as much as debate.”
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London Theatre
August 10th, 2023

“It all adds up to a thoroughly theatrical experience, one in which you’re hyper-aware of the show’s liveness: what’s happening on stage, and how you’re responding to it in the moment – or even contributing yourself. Thrillingly effective.”
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The Stage (UK)
August 10th, 2023

"The preoccupation here is nothing less existentially weighty than free will and the human condition, yet both play and production are as effortlessly deft as they are astute. It’s the kind of theatre that lives with you, turning over in the mind long after the experiment ends."
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The Independent (UK)
August 11th, 2023

“Lucy Prebble’s 2012 play – revived at the National Theatre in a flashy Jamie Lloyd production – perceptively shows that when it comes to mental health, we’re all still fumbling around in the dark, like medieval physicians who’ve dropped their tallow candles.”
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Time Out London
August 9th, 2023

“It tantalisingly asks many more questions than it answers. Food for the brain in the bucket, not so nourishing for the heart. Although it’s a bit too long, and although it doesn’t match the greatness of much that has come since, I still love Lucy.”
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