“A compelling, lucid production” 4 stars, The Guardian


Firebrand Theatre Company’s most recent show, in partnership with Heart of Hawick, was the Scottish premiere of The Effect, by Lucy Prebble.

The Effect, is an unconventional and moving love story; sexy, funny, and thought-provoking in the exploration of the limits of medicine in today’s pill-popping culture and spiced with warmth, humour and intelligence.

Connie (Scarlett Mack) is a psychology student. Tristan (Cameron Crighton) is a charming drifter. Both have signed up to a clinical trial for a new antidepressant super-drug and sealed off from the outside world, the attraction between them turns into deeper feelings as their doses get stronger. They’ve been warned of side effects – can they trust their feelings, or is this just a chemical romance? 

As the trial’s overseeing physician (Pauline Knowles) and her superior (Jonathan Coote) contend with the illicit relationship of their charges, they become increasingly conflicted about the ethical implications of their work. It’s soon clear they have a past beyond the laboratory and neither is objective about the complex issues that surround them.

Directed by award winning Richard Baron, The Effect features a stellar cast Pauline Knowles,  Jonathan Coote, Scarlett Mack and Cameron Crighton. Set Design is by Ken Harrison, who received rave reviews for his design for The Ladykillers at Pitlochry Festival Theatre; lighting design is by Matt Eagland and soundscape by Jonathan Beales.

The original production opened to great acclaim at the National Theatre in 2012 and won the Critic’s Circle Award for Best New Play for brilliant young playwright Lucy Prebble, author of the West End hit Enron and TV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  




If you would like to be kept up to date with what’s coming up next, please sign up for our newsletter by putting your email address in the box on the righthand side of this page. And, if you are interested in being a Friend of Firebrand and becoming a Firestarter, Flame or Spark, please click on the Friends of Firebrand link at the top of the page for more details!