It’s odd to talk about this play because it is fundamentally very odd. Blink is, for better or for worse, a Wes Anderson movie taken to the stage. There’s an attention to detail here that reminds me of that director’s work, not to mention a lot of music ripped straight from Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom. Its tone is, for lack of a better word, decidedly quirky, reveling in its weirdness with a smile and a wink. But with all that entertaining goofiness, the show doesn’t let us sit with its heart enough to leave a major impact on the audience.
At its core, Lucy Prebble’s The Effect asks its audience a question – are we defined by the chemicals in our system? Directed by Louis Catliff, breaking out of his comfort zone as St Andrews Go-to-guy for 20TH Century American drama, the show alternates between the stories of Tristan (Oli Savage) and Connie (Jen Grace), who volunteers in a depression medication trial. The psychiatrist and drug company representative, Dr James (Valentine Moscovici) and Toby (Ebe Bamgboye), are overseeing the operation. In equal measures, funny and heart wrenching, Catliff’s production is certainly one of this semester’s highlights, even if it cannot fully circumvent some slight issues with the script’s ending.