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Event: The Effect – April / May 2024

Straight off a highly acclaimed season at London’s National Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company is thrilled to present The Effect, written by BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning co-executive producer and writer Lucy Prebble of the HBO international hit series, Succession (2018-2023) in their 2024 line up.

The Effect, directed by the immensely talented Benjamin Kilby-Henson (King Lear), brings four stage and screen stars to the ASB Waterfront Theatre stage from April 16 – May 11. 

Jayden Daniels (Head High, Celebrity Treasure Island), Zoë Robins (Amazon’s The Wheel of Time) make their Auckland Theatre Company debuts, Jarod Rawiri (Long Day’s Journey into Night) returns and New Zealand screen legend Sara Wiseman (Under the Vines, Creamerie) makes her return to the company after 20 years.

“I’ll tell you what I want. I don’t want to reason with you. I want to know right now, in this moment, what you feel.”

When Connie and Tristan sign up for a clinical trial to test a new antidepressant, they fall for each other. Hard. Sealed off from the outside world, they’re ready to break all the rules. But are their feelings real or nothing more than a side effect from the drug that’s firing a dopamine hit to their brains? 

British playwright and producer Lucy Prebble shows all the razor-sharp flair that made her a star writer on the smash hit TV series Succession in this deft dissection of medical ethics and the nature of human attraction – fresh from the 2023 season on London’s Westend.

Prebble’s other writing credits include theatre productions; The Sugar Syndrome, ENRON and A Very Expensive Poison plus TV series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and I Hate Suzie both starring Billie Piper.

‘glorious’ (★★★★★ Mail on Sunday

‘An intense and intoxicating encounter’ (★★★★The Guardian UK)

‘tender, thrilling and elegantly brutal’ (★★★★★ The Stage) 

As the couple’s illicit romance throws the trial off course, tensions flare between the two supervising psychiatrists, who turn out to have a messy history of their own. 

And, as both the dosage of the drug and the emotional stakes increase, a wider debate plays out on the medicalisation of depression for profit by the pharmaceutical industry. “There’s no such thing as side effects. They’re just effects you can’t sell.” 

A provocative delve into the mysteries of human attraction, this chemical romance keeps you guessing as it asks which is more powerful – the head or the heart? 

ASB Waterfront Theatre Dates: Tuesday, April 16 – Saturday, May 11 2024

Duration: 2 hours & 20 minutes, including interval

Tickets and info

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