The Scotsman Newspaper published this strong review of the Coolidge Effect during its run at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre
The Coolidge Effect review Scotsman 23 September 2017 text
The Coolidge Effect by Wonder Fools is on this week at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow

The Reward Foundation was delighted to be a sponsor of a thrilling new play called The Coolidge Effect by The Wonder Fools in Edinburgh. The other sponsor was the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. We encourage you to come along and see it. Details of dates and venues below.

In 2017, pornography is growing at an exponential rate: in the UK alone, more than 7 million porn sessions are viewed every day. As society’s access to pornography increases, so can our reluctance to talk about it. The Coolidge Effect seeks to break this taboo.

At the core of what drives internet pornography to be a multi-billion dollar industry is The Coolidge Effect. This natural phenomenon, which is a flaw in nature’s strategy, is designed to make us seek out ‘novel’ mating partners when our fertilisation job appears to be done. It works by building tolerance to, or boredom with, the same person or stimulus whose presence becomes less ‘rewarding’ to the primitive brain. Over time we simply have less and less desire for the same sexual partner.

Devised from interviews with porn advocates, addicts, mental health experts, porn harm awareness educators and scientists, these unique stories and viewpoints are told through 4 intertwining narratives: George, a Gameboy wielding teenager; Gary, a father lost in the depths of his own addiction; Gail, a pioneering porn producer and Retrospect, an ex-porn addict who wants you to understand.

The Coolidge Effect uses an interactive blend of storytelling, poetry and science to examine how pornography affects our mental health, relationships and sexual experiences.  The Wonder Fools, an exciting and innovative theatre group, has grasped this modern day phenomenon and turned it into an engaging and emotionally-charged new play.

The show was awarded a Special Commendation as part of the “The Suitcase Prize” at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich at PULSE Festival in 2017.  You can see them at the following venues:

  • Tron Theatre, Glasgow: 27-30 September
  • Macroberts Arts Centre, Stirling: 20 October
  • New Diorama Theatre, London: 15 November

The Coolidge Effect poster at Traverse Theatre

An interesting story by The List’s Theatre Editor about how The Coolidge Effect came to be written can be seen at The Vile Blog. It shows the influence of Gary Wilson’s 2012 TEDx talk ‘The Great Porn Experiment‘ on the evolution of the story. The play’s run in Glasgow also got good coverage in Broadway World Scotland.