The Effect – Rehearsal Diary Week 6

Lifestyle / Sun 19th Jun 2016 am30 11:43am

THE Effect is the production currently in rehearsal by the Moot House Players, directed by Harry Tennison. This diary covers their rehearsal process from the first week of rehearsals to the final night. The Effect follows Connie and Tristan as they are involved in a clinical drugs trail for a new antidepressant drug. The production runs at Moot Hall on the 7th, 8th and 9th of July, and tickets are available from www.moothouseplayers.com. This weeks entry is completed by Abbie Middleton-Evans, who plays Connie.

We’ve begun Act 2!

My name is Abbie and I am playing Connie in The Effect. Connie is an intellectual Psychology student and is partaking in drug trials not only to earn a bit of extra cash but to also learn more about how the mind and body communicate when influenced by drugs. She is very quizzical about the entire procedure and this can, at times, frustrate Dr James who is conducting the study. As the play progresses we learn they have a lot in common with each other.


In rehearsal: Tyrone Samuels as Tristan.

This weeks rehearsal had us focus on what is, probably now, my favourite scene in the play. Act 2 Scene 2 features Connie and Tristan’s ever progressing relationship (which is a confusing subject as she also has a boyfriend in ‘real’ life), and by this point Connie has received some upsetting information that makes her wary of her feelings towards Tristan. We first experimented with some movement to show Connie wanting to pull away from the situation and that involved us both walking in the performance space (Tyrone following me) but Harry said it seemed very false and unnatural so we instead used our instincts and paid attention to the words in the script to decide what our next steps would be.

This particular scene progresses into a fight. This is what I enjoyed – allowing Connie to get angry! She’s a fairly reserved character but Tristan’s pushy, demanding attitude pushes her to a point where she’s scared and has no other choice but to fight back.

In rehearsal: James Miller as Toby, and Sarah Randall as Dr James.

In rehearsal: James Miller as Toby, and Sarah Randall as Dr James.

What I’ve enjoyed most about being a part of this production is that Harry, as director, has let us be involved in the creating process – he’s not treated us like performing monkeys but challenged us with questions that have allowed us to develop our characters further.

I’m hoping that the audience can take away a bit of knowledge from this performance, not just about drugs and the science behind the brain, but how certain actions can trigger a downwards spiral into depression and how the love others show you can lift you back up.

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