The Friday Night Effect

The audience decides the fate of three girls on a night out in Dublin

★★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
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The Friday Night Effect
Published 12 Aug 2017

In The Friday Night Effect, the choices the audience makes will decide the fate of three flatmates on a night out in Dublin. Depending on the decisions made, by the end of the show one of them could be dead.

We're split into teams, and face dilemmas at various points. Whichever option gets the most votes is played out on stage. It's not a case of what the girls should do, but what we'd do in their shoes. It's a neat concept, and the cast are excellent in their portrayals of flawed 20-somethings trying to do the right thing by their friends. 

Collette—played with manic energy by co-writer Eva O'Connor—has bipolar and is in an abusive relationship. Sive (Mary O'Loan) is a "functional alcoholic" selling herself to pay her way through uni and Jamie (Annette O'Shea) is having an affair with her mum's fiance. Pius McGrath plays a multitude of men, showcasing an impressive range as a foil to the ladies.

Interactive theatre's a tricky thing to master. Do it well, and you can enhance the experience, fully immersing your audience in your story. Done badly, it's awkward and ineffective.

There are several flashback sequences, which occasionally feel a little out of place, and the pauses in the action for voting can break up the flow. That being said, The Friday Night Effect uses audience interaction skilfully, raising questions of morality that keep you thinking long after the lights come up.