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All images by Robert Tappert

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The Effect

By Lucy Prebble

Translated by Martin Ondriska

Directed by Michael Vyskočáni

(City Theatre Žilina)

Premiere: 3 November 2018

Date I Saw This Show: 5 May 2019


What I Saw


What is it to be young and in love?


The conceit of this play by contemporary UK playwright Lucy Prebble is science fiction (maybe): two young people in an anti-depressant drug trial fall in love, but is it really love or is it a side effect?  Ivana Kubáčková, Ján Dobrík, Anna Nováková, and Dávid Uzsák, from the acting company of City Theatre Žilina, manipulated each other as well as a deceptively simple hinged scrim screen along with two fixed scrim screens to create the various rooms and locations of a drug-testing facility.  The doctors and patients each have their own perceptions of the benefits of their respective positions. The acting is lively, funny, sharp, and eventually poignant as doctors become patients and patients become caretakers. 


The projected world of the play, created by platoon, a digital design group, gives a sense of the science of the brain and the cutting-edge nature of neuroscience, as well as creating a sense of progress when paired with driving loud music. The pallid back-drop of the scrim screens creates the sanitary world of the laboratory and a canvas for a joyful love affair that turns dark when its genesis comes into question. All elements of this production worked to highlight the alienation of all of these characters wrestling with love in the age of chemistry.

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