Presented by The Shed and the National Theatre, in association with The Jamie Lloyd Company
Tickets are now available. See it first and save—the best prices are generally available during previews, March 3 – 13. View the seat map.
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About this production
“Critic’s Pick: Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell are terrific [in] Lucy Prebble’s thought-provoking play.”
—The New York Times
“Michele Austin and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith [in] captivating performances”
“Jamie Lloyd is the most exciting director working today.”
“An exhilarating production. Dazzling.”
“It’s the kind of theatre that lives with you, turning over in the mind long after.”
What impulses define who we really are? As Connie and Tristan settle into their participation in a clinical drug trial, they begin to fall in love. But how can they be sure it’s the real thing and not an exhilarating side effect of the new antidepressant they’re taking? The supervising doctors begin to ask themselves questions too: where do they draw the line between love and ethics?
The Effect is written by Emmy Award winner Lucy Prebble (HBO’s Succession) and directed by Olivier Award winner Jamie Lloyd (Cyrano de Bergerac at BAM, A Doll’s House and Betrayal on Broadway). It features Paapa Essiedu (HBO’s I May Destroy You) and Taylor Russell (Bones and All, Netflix’s Lost in Space) as the participants at the center of an illicit romance alongside Michele Austin (This Is Going to Hurt, Cyrano de Bergerac at BAM) and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Olivier Award winner for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) as the doctors administering the clinical trial.
With a traverse staging that intimately connects audience and performers, this propulsive production’s strictly limited, four-week engagement follows its acclaimed run at London’s National Theatre this past fall.
Taylor Russell has established herself as a rare and exciting artist in film, television, and theater.
Russell recently made her stage debut as Connie in The Effect opposite Paapa Essiedu. Written by Lucy Prebble and directed by Jamie Lloyd, the play is an intimate examination of love and ethics and ran from August 1 through October 7, 2023, at the National Theatre in London. Russell was recognized with an Evening Standard Best Emerging Artist nomination for her critically acclaimed performance.
In 2022, Russell starred in Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All opposite Timothée Chalamet and Mark Rylance. The story follows Maren Yearly (Russell) as she searches through unseen corners of America to find her estranged mother in an effort to understand her dark past. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, where Russell was awarded with the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress. The film was released in theaters via United Artists Releasing on November 23, 2022, and Russell was nominated for a 2022 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Performance, a 2022 Gotham Award for Outstanding Lead Performance, and a 2022 San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Breakthrough Artist which she tied for second place. Russell’s revelatory portrayal of Maren earned her a spot in W magazine’s “Best Performances of 2022” issue.
Russell is perhaps most well known for her breakthrough role as Emily in director Trey Edward Shults’s Waves alongside Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The film, which was released by A24 on November 27, 2019, follows the journey of a suburban family as they navigate love, forgiveness, and grief in the aftermath of a tragedy. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone called Russell “… a phenomenal talent who digs so deep into her character you can feel her nerve endings.” As a result of her groundbreaking performance, Russell won a 2019 Gotham Award in the category of Best Breakthrough Actor. She was also honored with a Virtuosos Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, nominated for a 2020 Film Independent Spirit Award, and her performance was recognized in Time magazine’s “Best Movie Performances of 2019.”
Behind the camera, Russell served as a producer and made her directorial debut with the short film The Heart Still Hums, alongside co-director Savanah Leaf. The 29-minute documentary chronicles five women as they fight for their children through the cycle of drug addiction, homelessness, and the trauma of neglect from their own parents. On June 17, 2020, the film debuted at the 2020 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and was subsequently honored with the Best Documentary Short Award. Following its debut, Searchlight Pictures’ Searchlight Shorts acquired the short, which went on to win the 2021 Hollywood Critics Association Award for Best Short Film, as well as the award for Best Documentary Short at the 2020 Nashville Film Festival.
Russell can be seen starring alongside Ewan McGregor and Ellen Burstyn in Niclas Larsson’s feature film Mother Couch, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2023.
Next year, Russell will begin production on the new Korean film Hope from director Na-Hong Jin alongside Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, and Hoyeon.
Lucy Prebble is a writer for film, television, games, and theater. She was an executive producer and writer on the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award–winning HBO drama Succession, for which she has also won a WGA and a PGA Award. She is the writer and co-creator of I Hate Suzie and I Hate Suzie Too, which was nominated for five BAFTAs including Best Drama, Best Writer, and Best Actress and won her the Royal Television Society Award for Best Writer. She is also the creator and writer of the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (ITV/Showtime).
For theater, Prebble recently had a rewritten version of her award-winning play, The Effect, at the National Theatre, directed by Jamie Lloyd. She wrote the political and emotional meta-thriller A Very Expensive Poison, which was a sell-out, five-star hit for the Old Vic in 2019 and was Olivier nominated for Best New Play. She is the writer of the infamous Enron, a hugely successful piece about the infamous corporate fraud, which transferred to the West End after sell-out runs at both the Royal Court and Chichester Festival Theatre. Her first play, The Sugar Syndrome (2003), won her the George Devine Award and was performed at the Royal Court.
In London’s West End, Soutra Gilmour’s credits include The Commitments, From Here to Eternity, The Lover and The Collection, Apologia, Richard III, The Maids, The Homecoming, Macbeth, Urinetown, Cyrano De Bergerac (also at Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY), & Juliet, Pinter at the Pinter and Betrayal (also on Broadway). On Broadway: A Doll’s House and Merrily We Roll Along. Other productions include: Timon of Athens for the RSC and TFANA, Brooklyn; Further Than The Furthest Thing and Bull at the Young Vic; The Secret Life of Bees, Macbeth, and Reasons to be Pretty at the Almeida; Running With Lions and Out West at the Lyric Hammersmith; To The Streets at Birmingham Hippodrome; Evita at Regents Park; Guys and Dolls at the Royal Exchange, Manchester; Knives in Hens, Inadmissible Evidence, and Piaf at Donmar Warehouse; The Guards at the Taj for the Bush; Pitchfork Disney and Killer for Shoreditch Town Hall; I See You and The Pride at the Royal Court; Assassins and Merrily We Roll Along at Menier Chocolate Factory; Reasons to Be Happy at Hampstead Theatre; The Crucible and Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic; and The Caretaker at Sheffield Crucible and the Tricycle.
Opera productions include Breaking the Waves for Scottish Opera; Jack the Ripper for English National Opera; The Turn of the Screw at Regent’s Park; Quartett at Royal Opera House; Iris at Opera Holland Park; and Carmen, Saul, Hansel and Gretel, and Anna Bolena for Opera North.
Gilmour has been recognized with five Olivier Award nominations and two Tony Award nominations, including Best Set Design for Betrayal and Best Costume Design for Cyrano de Bergerac. (Updated July 2023)
Jon Clark is a Tony and Olivier Award–winning lighting designer. He has designed extensively in the West End, on Broadway, for the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, and with many other companies in the UK and internationally. For the National, Jon Clark’s credits include The Motive and the Cue, The Lehman Trilogy (also on Broadway and in the West End), Amadeus, Anna, Othello, and Hamlet. In London’s West End: The Jungle (also at St. Ann’s Warehouse), Aspects of Love, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, and The Inheritance (also at the Young Vic and on Broadway). On Broadway: A Doll’s House, The Shark is Broken, Betrayal, and King Charles III. Other productions include The Book of Dust and A German Life at the Bridge; Evita at Regent’s Park; and The Lorax at the Old Vic, in the US, and in Toronto.
Clark’s opera credits include Hamlet at the Metropolitan Opera and Glyndebourne; The Exterminating Angel at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, and Saltzburg Festival; Macbeth in Copenhagen and Valencia; Krol Roger at Royal Opera House and Sydney Opera House; and Written on Skin at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Royal Opera House, Lincoln Center, and internationally.
Clark has received a Tony Award for The Lehman Trilogy, an Olivier Award for The Inheritance, a Green Room Award for King Roger in Australia, and a Knight of Illumination Award for Three Days of Rain. (Updated July 2023)
Michael “Mikey J” Asante is a producer, composer, singer, dancer, and DJ. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of Boy Blue, founded in 2001 with Kenrick “H2O” Sandy. As a music producer, Asante has a diverse catalogue of discography, creating music for films Street Dance 3D and All Stars and enjoying session work and production for major label artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle, George the Poet, and Kano.
Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography, and music and is a professor of electronic music at Guildhall School of Music where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship (HonFGS) in 2018.
Theater credits for the National Theatre include The Effect. Other productions include Tree at the Young Vic. On television he collaborated with Brian Eno for the soundtrack on Top Boy. In 2022, Asante was awarded an MBE for services to Hip-Hop Dance and Music in the Queen’s New Years Honours list. (Updated July 2023)
In London’s West End, George Dennis’s credits include Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, The Seagull, The Homecoming, The Windsors: Endgame, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter, The Lover and The Collection, One for the Road, A New World Order, Mountain Language Sweat (also at the Donmar Warehouse), and Ashes to Ashes. Productions include: Venice Preserved for the RSC; Straight Line Crazy (also at The Shed), The Southbury Child (also at Chichester), Two Ladies and A Very Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge; The Duchess of Malfi and Three Sisters at the Almeida; Further Than the Furthest Thing and The Island at the Young Vic; Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles?, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, The Deep Blue Sea, and The Norman Conquests at Chichester; Glee and Me at the Royal Exchange; Talent, Frost/Nixon, and Tribes at Sheffield Crucible; The Mountaintop for the Young Vic, Royal Exchange, and on UK tour; Mary Stuart and The Beacon at Staatstheater Stuttgart; Hedda Tesman, Richard III, and Spring Awakening for Headlong; Much Ado About Nothing, Imogen, and The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe; Harrogate, Fireworks, and Liberian Girl at the Royal Court; Guards at the Taj and Visitors at the Bush; and Killer and The Pitchfork Disney (co-designed with Ben and Max Ringham) at Shoreditch Town Hall.
Dennis has received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Sound Design for The Homecoming and an Off-West End Award for Best Sound Design for Killer. (Updated July 2023)
Kate Waters has been an Equity Registered Fight Director since 2001. For the National Theatre, Waters’s credits include The Father and the Assassin, Much Ado About Nothing, Manor, Small Island, The Plough and the Stars, The Deep Blue Sea, Husbands and Sons, Our Country’s Good, Rules for Living, Dara, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Here Lies Love, Hotel, Blurred Lines, Home, Othello, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (also in the West End), The Comedy of Errors, One Man, Two Guvnors (also in the West End), Frankenstein, Season’s Greetings, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Women Beware Women, and War Horse (also in the West End). In London’s West End, credits include Urinetown the Musical, As You Like It, and TINA: Tina Turner The Musical.
Other productions include Rock Follies, Assassins, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, and Black Comedy at Chichester; Hamnet, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, and King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company; His Dark Materials at Birmingham Rep; Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Ruling Class, Richard III, and Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios; Private Lives, Henry IV, and Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse; Noises Off (also in the West End), Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic; Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House; Henry V and Antony and Cleopatra at Shakespeare’s Globe; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Porgy & Bess at Regent’s Park; and A Doll’s House at Bridge Theatre. On television, credits include Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and Hollyoaks as a regular fight director.
Waters is also a qualified boxing coach and coaches at Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club. (Updated September 2023)
Ingrid Mackinnon is a movement director, choreographer and intimacy director. Mackinnon holds an MA in Movement: Directing and Teaching from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As intimacy coordinator for the National Theatre, credits include The House of Bernarda Alba, The Effect, and Phaedra. As intimacy coordinator in London’s West End: TINA: The Tina Turner Musical and Sunset Boulevard.
Other productions include, as intimacy coordinator: Choir Boy at Bristol Old Vic; Shooting Hedda Gabler at the Rose, Kingston; Es and Flo at Wales Millennium Centre and Kiln; Super High Resolution at Soho Theatre; Enough of Him for the National Theatre of Scotland; and Girl on an Altar for Kiln.
As movement director and choreographer: Choir Boy at Bristol Old Vic; Portia Coughlan and Reimagining Cacophony at the Almeida; Shooting Hedda Gabler at the Rose, Kingston; That Face at the Orange Tree; Every Leaf a Hallelujah and Romeo and Juliet at Regent’s Park; The Meaning of Zong at the Barbican, Bristol Old Vic, and on UK tour; Blue at ENO; Further than the Furtherest Thing at the Young Vic; Trouble in Butetown at Donmar Warehouse; Enough of Him at National Theatre of Scotland; A Dead Body in Taos for Fuel; The Darkest Park of the Night and Girl on an Altar at Kiln; Playboy of the West Indies at Birmingham Rep; Moreno at Theatre503; Red Riding Hood at Stratford East; Antigone at Mercury, Colchester; Liminal for Le Gateau Chocolat at the King’s Head; Liar Heretic Thief at Lyric, Hammersmith; First Encounters: The Merchant of Venice and Kingdom Come for the RSC; Josephine at Theatre Royal, Bath; Typical at Soho Theatre; #WeAreArrested for the Arcola and RSC; and The Border for Theatre Centre. Intimacy support includes: La Cage aux Folles, Robin Hood, The Tempest, Every Leaf a Hallelujah, Once on This Island, Antigone, 101 Dalmatians, Legally Blonde, and Carousel as a season associate 2023 and 2022 at Regent’s Park.
Mackinnon received a Black British Theatre Award for Best Choreographer for Romeo and Juliet in 2021. (Updated November 2023)
Creating The Effect
- Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. There will be strictly no late seating, and no re-entry during the performance.
- This production contains strong language and adult themes. Not recommended for those under the age of 12.
- There are strobe/flashing lights, smoke, and haze effects, with some loud music.
- Some scenes include sexual content, physical aggression, depictions of seizures, and references to depression, anxiety, and suicide.
- For mental health resources, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website.
The Shed’s Griffin Theater has accessible seating. Please contact us in advance to discuss your needs and available options by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (646) 455-3949.
The performances on March 20 at 7 pm and March 23 at 2 pm will feature American Sign Language interpretation by Hands On. To reserve tickets, please visit the Hands On website. Please email email@example.com or call (646) 455-3494 for more information.
Visitors may check out assistive listening devices at the entrance to the theater. A driver’s license will be held to check out the device.
The Shed’s online ticketing system includes the option to submit accommodation requests beyond the access points detailed here.