Hope Synth Laboratories invite you to witness a live clinical trial testing the very latest developments in psycho-pharmacology. Join our expert team Dr Lorna James and Dr Toby Sealey at a state of the art live-in testing facility. Here brave volunteers Connie and Tristan trial our innovative antidepressant medication with potentially life changing results.

Warning! Effects of the medication may include:

  • Racing hearts, lost appetites, lack of sleep and erratic emotions

  • Formation of illicit relationships

  • Questioning the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry

  • Falling in love


Connie Hall: Kristen Flanagan

Tristan Frei: Constantin Gindele


Dr Lorna James: Kathryn Dorgan

Dr Toby Sealey: Luis Montero


Sarah Faber, Mislav Zivkovic, Kasey Kozara, Amin Ghadirian, Eléonore Pierrat, Lisbet Andersen, Josephine Robert, Nelly Madzharova, Carlos Cebrecos, Paloma Fernández, Arthur Kelly, Karl Heding

Director: Carol Hayes

Assistant Director: Daniel Neil Ash


Dates: 1st – 10th October 2020

Location: Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, 2100 København

Start time: 19:30

Running time: 120 mins plus break

Age limit: 14+

COVID-19 Prevention:

😷 Limited audiences – Max. 50 audience members per night.
😷 An empty seat between audience members.
😷 2 metre clear zone between audience and performers.
😷 Audience members to wear a face mask when moving around in the theatre.
😷 Hand sanitiser available
😷 Regular COVID-19 testing for the cast and crew.
😷 The bar seating area is closed.
😷 Separate queues for theatre entrance, drinks and toilets.
😷 Social distancing required.

😷 The theatre space will be aired out during the interval.

We are constantly reviewing this and we maintain dialogue with our venue to ensure the safest possible environment for you to enjoy our play.

This is Copenhagen Theatre Circle Production, in collaboration with Assemble Theatre Collective. Visit www.ctcircle.dk for details.

The Effect written by Lucy Prebble is presented by arrangement with Concord

Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk


Volunteer A

Name: Connie Hall

Age: 27

Nationality: USA

Education level: Master’s of Science (Psychology and social science), Copenhagen University (in progress)

Employment status: Teaching Assistant

Medical history of note: migraines, allergies (grass, pollen), family history of heart disease, bipolar disorder, and depression

Typical daily activities (outside the clinic): Reading (non-fiction and classic literature), working on assignments for school, yoga, drinking coffee, going for walks by The Lakes, and listening to podcasts (favorites include The Daily, Decoder Ring, My Favorite Murder, and Invisibilia)

Relationship status: Taken

Current residence: Østerbro, Copenhagen

Children or dependants: none

Reason for entering trial:

“As someone who has witnessed the negative effects of depression firsthand, I hope to see a huge improvement in the treatment of depression and other mental health issues within my lifetime. And without clinical trials, the development of more effective medication would not be possible. It will be exciting to walk away from this experience knowing that I, in some small way, have contributed to the advancement of psychiatry and the betterment of people’s lives.”



Volunteer B

Name: Tristan Frei

Age: 29

Nationality: German

Education level: Gymnasium (secondary school)

Employment status: unemployed 

Medical history of note: none

Typical daily activities (outside the clinic): traveling near and far, meeting new people, kitchen philosophy, and studying eastern religions. 

Relationship status: available

Current residence: Bronshøj, Copenhagen

Children or dependants: none

Reason for entering trial: This trial is special to me in that I hope it will be my last. When it’s done I’ll take the money and travel East. 



Dr. Lorna James, MD – Senior Doctor

Dr. Lorna James is a practicing Irish psychiatrist who is well known for her skepticism of psychiatric drugs and has campaigned against the overuse of medications in modern psychiatry.

She was born in 1969 to a middle class Cork family. The only child  of two renowned scientists, she excelled during her primary education and following her secondary education at Regina Mundi College she was awarded a scholarship to study medicine at University College Cork. She later went on to graduate from The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland with 1st class honors. In 1999 she took up a position as clinical psychiatrist at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London. She moved to Denmark in 2005 with her former Copenhagen-born partner and set up a private practice offering services in English for the large expatriate population of Copenhagen.

She has published several papers on the subject of “ Biochemical imbalance of the brain” . Her mission is “to promote excellence in the practice of psychiatry and to understand how past and present experiences can disturb a person’s biochemistry and lead to depression”. Most recently she has been affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry in her quest to ascertain the efficacy of antidepressant medications.

Dr. James lives alone in a stylish apartment in an exclusive suburb of Copenhagen. She enjoys knitting baby bonnets which she donates to maternity wards at local hospitals. Time permitting she also likes to bake; “Baking is learning to deal with disappointment. The balance of patience, knowledge and repetition keeps me interested.”



Dr. Toby Sealey MSc, MD, PhD – Principal Investigator

Dr. Toby Sealey (or “just Toby”, as he prefers to be called), was born in 1980 in Lima, Peru. Son of Maria Rodriguez and renowned heart surgeon Dr. Arthur Sealey, he showed a remarkable mind from an early age; his curiosity, creativity and ingenuity drew the attention of teachers and mentors alike. 

After graduating at the top of his class from Colegio Peruano Britanico at the age of 17, and despite showing early interest in philosophy, he opted to follow in his father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in medicine. 

He attended the University of Exeter, obtaining MSc in Neuroscience and later a MD-PhD in Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge by the age of 27, impressing many researchers in the field, due to his young age and somewhat controversial ideas regarding psychopharmacology, as illustrated in his numerous published papers. After being offered residencies at many prestigious institutions, he opted for Hope Synth Laboratories on the grounds of their “boundary pushing approach to psychopharmacology”. He began working with the company first as a clinical psychiatrist and researcher, Co-Principal Investigator and recently as Principal Investigator on psychopharmacology research and development. He is the youngest scientist in Europe ever to receive an award in this field.

His career has been at the center of controversy due to his early successes and unorthodox approach. He has fought accusations of being “more of a salesman than a scientist; a ´winning smile´ is not worth a grant… nor is selling science fiction instead of actual science!”

Despite this, his success continues to be undeniable as he enjoys a current position as PI for the Danish branch of Hope Synth Laboratories.

He has two children from his first marriage, and currently lives in Copenhagen with his fiance. He enjoys rock climbing and paintballing.