Arts & Entertainment

Review – The Effect

Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Connie (Anna McGahan) is a psychology student – a thinker who faces the world by trying to understand it. Tristan (Mark Leonard Winter) is a drifter – impulsive, a risk-taker who funds his holidays by renting his body out to science. When they sign up for a new anti-depressant drug trial, they fall in love – but is this the real thing or is it just too much dopamine?

Lucy Prebble’s play is engaging on many levels, beautiful, disturbing and sometimes annoying. A sparse, clinical set on a stark, fluorescent light box gives way to the warm incandescence of a deserted asylum, where love blooms. The first act is more than a quirky love story. The second act takes a surprising trajectory to some very distressing places.

Winter is endearing as his emotional dial gets turned up and McGahan is achingly good as she unravels her feelings… only to unravel too far. (GW)

Until Aug 16, Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4/5 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $50-99, (02) 9250 1777,

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