“a fascinating and disquieting dissection of our medical histories”
“an uplifting, tender experience”
“a mesmerising insight into the meds we are consuming…tender…hilarious…”
“powerfully moving”


Dad's on sleeping pills to get some shut eye and ProPlus to wake up. Grandma's list of meds seems to get longer and longer the older she gets, and Mum's menopausal hot flashes are remedied with herbal concoctions. As their daughter brings a new boyfriend home another contraceptive pill is swallowed... Come into the Dante or Die family home to take a peek at what's in this family's medicine cabinet and the brightly coloured pills everyone's taking to feel just a little bit better.

Using Dante or Die’s distinctive style of humour, subtlety, fluid movement, music and design a cast of dancers aged between 20 and 75 invite you to consider the Side Effects of our relationship with modern medicine.

Side Effects premiered at Rich Mix, London

Touring performances included:

  • Laban Theatre, London
  • Lillian Baylis Studio, Sadlers Wells
  • Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House
  • London Pharmaceutical Society
  1. Directed by Daphna Attias
  2. Produced by Kirsten Burrows & Dante or Die
  3. Design Jenny Hayton
  4. Dramaturgy Mark Down
  5. Music Composer & Director Yaniv Fridel
  6. Movement Director Nicky Ellis
  7. Pharmacy Consultants Professor Ian Bates & Dr Laura Obiols
  8. Vocal Coach Kate Joos
  9. Cast Antigone Avdi, Laure Bachelot, Betsy Field, Terry O'Donovan & Simon Rice
  10. Stills Photography Justin Jones

Side Effects is a unique collaboration with The School of Pharmacy, investigating social pharmacy questions through intergenerational community workshops, performance and audience responses. The piece was inspired by Pharmacopeia's Cradle to Grave exhibition.

The company has formed a team that has rare crossovers between medicine and performance. Pharmaceuitical consultant Dr Laura Obiols is currently training as a dancer at The Place, whilst dramaturg Mark Down (Blind Summit) was a GP before turning his hand to theatre. Betsy Field, the eldest company member, is a dancer with Sadler's Wells Company of Elders. Before beginning a career as a dancer she ran a pharmacy in Woking with her husband -also a pharmacist. Pharmacopeia artists mentored the production's development.

“a fascinating and disquieting dissection of our medical histories”
The Guardian

“an uplifting, tender experience... set to Yaniv Fridel's moving original score”
The Londonist

“a mesmerising insight into the meds we are consuming ...tender...hilarious...”
The New Scientist

“powerfully moving”
There Ought to be Clowns

“Fresh, innovative and engaging... this is one pill everyone should take.”
Art Wednesday

“very entertaining”
British Theatre Guide

“undeniably thoughtprovoking”
The Stage

Supported by The School of Pharmacy, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Laban Theatre. Funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award & Arts Council England.

Arts Council England


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