ROMANCE is put under the microscope in Play With Fire’s new production of The Effect by multi-award winning playwright Lucy Prebble to be staged at Oldham Coliseum from Tuesday, September 25 to Thursday, September 27.

Love is a naturally occurring chemical reaction, so can it be created medicinally?

The Effect is a funny, moving and perhaps surprisingly human play that explores questions of sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine, alongside ideas of fate, loyalty and the inevitability of physical attraction.

Psychology student, Connie, and drifter, Tristan, agree to take part in a clinical drug trial for a new kind of anti-depressant.

When the clinicians up the dosage they find themselves falling for each other, but struggle to work out whether their feelings are real or just a side effect.

The Effect will be presented at Oldham Coliseum Theatre by Play With Fire as part of the theatre’s Main House Takeover. Play With Fire is a Manchester city centre based theatre company co-founded by artistic director Daniel Bradford and producer Hannah Ellis Ryan, who is also currently playing Liz Macdonald’s long-lost daughter Katie in Coronation Street.

The Coliseum’s main house takeover offers audiences a taste of what they can expect from the flexible 170-seat studio theatre in the new Coliseum on Union Street in 2020, by putting shows that would usually be seen in the current studio theatre onto the main stage.

Hannah Ellis Ryan, producer of Play With Fire, said: “We feel so privileged to have this opportunity to present Lucy Prebble's The Effect on the Coliseum main stage. As independent artists, striving to provide opportunities, push boundaries, and do something a bit different - these kinds of opportunities rarely come around.

“We are so grateful to the Coliseum for giving over their stage and are so excited to share this beautiful and complex love story."

Writer Lucy Prebble is creator of the television series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (ITV2). Her debut play, The Sugar Syndrome, won the George Divine Award and the TMA Award for Best New Play in 2004. Follow up, Enron, premiered at Chichester Theatre Festival before transferring to London’s West End and won the TMA Award for Best New Play in 2009.

The Effect premiered at the National Theatre in 2012, starring Billie Piper, and won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play. This production from Play With Fire is its North West premiere.

Putting the spotlight on Greater Manchester’s eclectic fringe theatre scene, Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Main House Takeover also features a double bill of Rosie Fleeshman’s Narcissist in the Mirror and the Coliseum’s pick of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, POP by EVENTHORIZON.