The Effect of Success

Lucy Prebble’s 2012 play set in a clinical trials facility has been shortlisted for another writing prize. The Effect, which has already won a Critics Circle Award is one of five plays nominated for the James Tait Black Prize, coordinated by Edinburgh University. James Tait Black Memorial Prizes for fiction and biography were established in 1919 but this is the first time a prize has been offered for drama. A panel of judges representing Edinburgh University, The National Theatre of Scotland and The Traverse Theatre will decide on the winning play which will be read in Edinburgh on the 5th August 2013.

The Effect was staged at The National Theatre from November 2012 to February 2013 and was a co-production with Headlong. Bille Piper and Jonjo O’Neill starred as a couple who apparently fall in love during a neuropharmacology drug trial.

(Update: The winning play has been announced as The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price.)

‘Constellations’ and ‘The Effect’ Receive Multiple Award Nominations

Two new ‘science in theatre’ plays that have enjoyed mainstream success in London’s West End have picked up an impressive number of nominations in the ‘What’s On Stage Awards’ 2013.

‘Constellations’ by Nick Payne and ‘The Effect’ by Lucy Prebble have both been nominated in the Best New Play category with Sally Hawkins and Billie Piper each receiving Best Actress nominations for their respective performances.

The Royal Court Theatre’s production of ‘Constellations’ also picked up nominations for Tom Scutt’s set design and Lee Curran’s lighting design.

Both ‘Constellations’ and the National Theatre/Headlong production of ‘The Effect’ have been critically well-received and commercially successful during 2012/13, bringing physics and neuro-pharmacology to the West End stage.

The winners of the ‘What’s On Stage Theatregoers’ Choice Awards’ will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Palace Theatre on Sunday 17th February 2013. The event will be streamed online from 7pm.

‘The Effect’ Wins Best New Play Award

‘The Effect’, the new play by Lucy Prebble has won ‘Best New Play’ in the Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards at a lunchtime ceremony on 15th January. The sell-out National Theatre/Headlong production opened in November 2012 to very positive reviews in the UK press.

The play is set in a clinical trials facility and follows the relationship between two trial participants Connie (played by Billie Piper) and Tristan (Jonjo O’Neill). A short video including brief comments from Lucy Prebble about an early read-through has recently been posted on the production website.


‘The Effect’ runs at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre until 23 February 2013  – although only day tickets and returns are available.