Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Pangdemonium's 'The Effect'

The man and I have faithfully bought Pangdemonium's season ticket since the first. Somehow, we haven't managed to miss many of the theatre company's shows. Haven't been disappointed. We like its focus on adapting very good foreign plays to the local stage. They pretty much keep to the scripts; so far, we certainly don't mind their interpretation of the plays.

Pangdemonium's 2016 season begins with Lucy Prebble's 2012 slightly-probing and existential 'The Effect'. Totally enjoyed her 2009 'ENRON'. Wasn't keen on her tv series 'The Secret Diary of a Call Girl'. 'The Effect' questions the motives of big pharma as well as asks if what we feel (aside from pheromone and dopamine) are simply a result of chemicals.

The doctos (and the audience) tracks the behavior of two volunteers at a drug trial. They're taking an experimental anti-depressant, fall in love and aren't quite sure if it's the uplifting effect of the drugs that they're on. Parallel to their story is the re-telling of the relationship between their psychiatrist and her boss. There're little twists to keep the plot interesting and the debate alive about science, emotions and pill-popping. Watch the show!

The set was completely believable as a clinical unit. The stage was well-put together. Even the actors walking up and down those steps weren't that disruptive. Nikki Muller and Linden Furnell were fun and cute, and full of angst as young college students Connie and Tristan. Tan Kheng Hua acts as Lorna, the presiding doctor, and Adrian Pang as her boss Toby. At many points, couldn't help but grin to some songs running through my mind, namely from My Chemical Romance, and randomly remembering strange stories in Irvine Welsh's 'Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance'. Fairly enjoyable.

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