The Effect — Auckland Theatre Company

This ethically ambiguous, toxic love story is the work of Lucy Prebble, one of the brains behind HBO’s ‘Succession’.
Emma Clark-Dow
February 22, 2024


The Effect, an intense portrayal of what love and drugs can do to someone's brain, is coming to ASB Waterfront Theatre, presented by the talented team of actors at Auckland Theatre Company. The titillating story of toxic love is written by the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning Lucy Prebble — one of the writers and co-producers of HBO's Succession.

Fresh from a run at London's National Theatre, The Effect will star Jayden Daniels as Tristan Fey and Zoë Robins as Connie Hall, with both of the young actors making their Auckland Theatre Company debut.

Characters Tristan and Connie meet in a not-so-romantic situation: while taking part in a test trial for a new antidepressant, isolated from the real world. It is here that they start to ask the question — is love something you hold in your heart, or is it all down to brain chemistry?

The storyline running simultaneously alongside Tristan's and Connie's journey to true love is that of the psychiatrists running the trial, who happen to have a bit of a messy romance of their own. Dr. Lorna James (Sara Wiseman) and Dr. Toby Sealey (Jarod Rawiri) faces an ethical problem that Prebble poses to the play's audience: the profit the pharmaceutical industry is making on potential brain-altering drugs such as the fictional anti-depressant causing havoc in Connie and Tristan's brains.

The Effect is directed by Benjamin Kilby-Henson, the force behind Auckland Theatre Company's most recent adaptation of King Lear. The play will be showing at ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter from Tuesday April 16–Sunday May 11.


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