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Fremantle Theatre Company Season 2023

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May 18 - June 3

The Effect

by Lucy Prebble

If you love someone, does it matter why? 


Two volunteers on a drugs trial begin to develop some strange attractions in Lucy Prebble’s love-sceptical play. THE EFFECT takes on the subject of antidepressants, their importance, our need for them and the consequences of chemical design; all examined via the taut gauntlet of a human drug-trial. Replete, of course, with the Docs and the Lab Rats - in this case, patients Connie and Tristan.


We know little about them all before the trial, and they even less about each other. But it's clear that a spark has ignited between them – Is it the drugs? Or their own personal chemistry? And how could either of them be able to tell the difference, if we are all just a skin-bag of electricity and chemicals to begin with?

The Effect is a difficult and touching exploration of the rarest thing.

The dearest thing:

The tiny spark that binds two hearts. 

Fremantle Theatre Company is thrilled to present this incredible piece of theatre from the co-executive producer and writer of HBO's massive success SUCCESSION.

Lucy Prebble is wowing audiences world-wide, on the stage and screen, with her uncanny knack for truthful dialogue, her invention of characters that meet us where we live while pushing the boundaries of what we've come to expect, and with her bravery to stage ideas that burrow deep into your mind and won't let go.

She is the creator of TV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl and I Hate Suzie!. The Effect is currently poised for a huge remount in London and for very good reason: Prebble is killing it on screen, and is the original wunder-mind behind mega-award-winning stage-shows Enron, The Sugar Syndrome & A Very Expensive Poison. All kicked-off by this incredible break-out debut play!



'An astonishingly rich and rewarding play, as intelligent as it is deeply felt.'

Daily Telegraph (UK)


"There’s no shortage of things to think about in British playwright Lucy Prebble’s The Effect.

By interval, your mind is buzzing." Sydney Morning Herald

“… what makes The Effect so special, is that as well as being a play of ideas, it is also deeply moving, both in its

depiction of the giddy wonder of love, and also in its account of the terrifying wasteland of depression itself...

The Effect is an astonishingly rich and rewarding play, as intelligent as it is deeply felt."

— Charles Spencer from The Telegraph

“… This is a provocative and challenging play … it ends in edgy gesture of good sense that made me feel like cheering.”

— Paul Taylor from The Independent

“Prebble has written a profound and stirring play. The material is complex but always accessible, the drama

serious and informative yet deeply human, with the odd jolt of piercing humour. The Effect confirms her as

one of the most intelligent voices in British theatre.” — Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard


“…Smashing…plays like a thriller…The story keeps unwinding in fascinating, organic directions…

What started as a clean and narrowly defined ‘situation’ play by the end leaves you feeling you have

experienced a hefty chunk of human possibility and despair.” —NY Magazine.

Lucy Prebble has won 2 x Primetime Emmy Awards, 2 x Writers Guild of America awards, a Pene De Prata Award, 2 x PGA Awards, and has been nominated for several BAFTAs, Emmy’s and an Olivier Award for Best New Play, 2 x Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play and the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize - and let's not forget the big win for The Effect, that took out the top prize of the UK Critic's Circle Award for Best New Play.  


Mature language and content, simulated drug-taking, simulated organs, blood and bodily fluids.

Reference to death or dying, reference to suicide, sexual content, simulated sexual activity, and discussion of mental illness & treatment.

Director: Pippa Grandison

Dr Lorna James: Carla Bonner
Dr Toby Sealey: Oliver Wenn
Connie: Caitlin Ashley Thompson
Tristan: Adam Sollis

Composer, Arranger, Sound Design and Performer: Anna Sarcich
Intimacy Director: Steph Power
Designer: Renato Fabretti
Lighting Designer: Matthew Erren
Projection Design: VJ-Zoo
Stage Manager: Krista Barker
Producer: Pippa Davis
Production Assistant: Tayah Lee-Traub
Intern: Thom Stewart
Set Build: Onstage Arts
Head Mechanist: Ellick Higson
Front of House: Mahala Parkins

Media Partner: Function Labs



Pippa Grandison - Director

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Carla Bonner - DR LORNA JAMES

Carla is a familiar face to both Aussie and International audiences, having spent nineteen years on Neighbours as the beloved ‘Stephanie Scully’.

Her acting prowess has been showcased in various roles, including STAN's popular prison drama Wentworth, the loose comedy series The Agent (2016), and the drama series Ready for This (2015). She can also be seen locally in the new Ch7 production of The Claremont Killings.

We are thrilled to have Carla as the head of our drug-trial and can't wait for you to see her in action! Get ready to be captivated by Carla's talent and the gripping story of THE EFFECT.

Pippa Grandison, is first and foremost a brilliant actress, best known for her work in Muriel's Wedding (1994), Candy (2006), Underbelly (2008) and Babe: Pig in the City (1998). Her TV work is vast and includes roles in: A Country Practice, Brides of Christ, E Street, Water Rats, All Saints and Here Come The Habibs. And recently on the new and very local Channel 7 production of The Claremont Killings.

On stage, Pippa has been a major leading lady and has lent her incredible singing voice to a great deal of major musical theatre productions, playing leading roles in the musicals The Witches of Eastwick, We Will Rock You, Company, and Georgy Girl: Story Of The Seekers. Pippa also performed the role of Elphaba in the recent Australian production of Wicked for the majority of its Sydney season.

This is her professional theatre Directing debut and and first time working with FTC.


Oliver Wenn - DR TOBY SEALEY

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Oliver is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and has recently toured The Sapphires musical for the third time throughout Australia – a period piece about Australia’s own, all indigenous soul-singing trio, who were in their own right the Oz answer to The Supremes.

His theatre credits include standout performances in Sydney productions of Martin
McDonough’s Pillow Man and Edward Albee’s Zoo Story, alongside work for Deckchair Theatre, Performing Lines, BSSTC & Griffin

Oliver Wenn is known on screen for Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, Home & Away, Top Of The Lake, Packed To The Rafters, Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, True Colours and The Secret Daughter. In film Oliver has recently appeared in I Met A Girl, How To Please A Woman and Escape & Evasion.

Caitlin Ashley Thompson - CONNIE

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Caitlin is an Aussie actress poised for a breakout. She trained at the Groundlings school and Berg Studios in the US, and is known for her work in Scream: The TV Series based on the popular horror film series; and Supernatural the popular Canadian series on The CW network, as well as the new project Have You Heard About Charlie?.

While L.A. based through much of the past decade, Caitlin is originally from Perth, cut her teeth on stage at John Curtin College of the Arts, in shows with WAYTCO, and is a true local artist, thrilled to take on the role of conflicted medical patient 'Connie'.


Adam Sollis - TRISTAN

Born and bred a stone's throw from Fremantle, Adam received his high school education at John Curtin College of the Arts before being accepted into the prestigious Acting program at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, graduating in 2014. For the past 8 years Adam has called Sydney home, but late last year returned to the West.

Adam's television and film credits include Cloudstreet, Stormworld, Angelfish and Boldly GO, Dance Academy: The Movie [Werner Film Productions], Riot [ABC] and more recently Home & Away for the Seven Network.

Adam's theatre credits include Tonsils and Tweezers (BSSTC) written and directed by Will O'Mahony, Once In Royal David's City (Queensland Theatre/BSSTC) directed by Sam Strong, Hit and Necrophilia (JackRabbit Theatre Company) written and directed by Lincoln Vickery, WRATH (KXT/Bakehouse) and Shepherd (Belvoir 25A) written and directed by Liam Maguire, and most recently the sold out season of Never Closer, another Belvoir 25A production, written by Grace Chapman and directed by Hannah Goodwin


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Mentoring Programme

Fremantle Theatre Company regularly receives requests from young artists and art workers who are looking to further their experience and to have guidance within the profession.

The  FTC Executive leadership has experience in many areas of the performance industry which gives them the ability to mentor broadly in the industry.

Our Artistic Director, Renato Fabretti, has a particular interest in ensuring that homegrown talent is nurtured and is given a place on the stages of our state.  His work in film and on stage as an actor and a creator, makes him ideally placed to mentor young artists wishing to make their way in the profession.

Our General Manager, Pippa Davis, has a background in design, production management, venue, and arts management.  This diverse background gives her the ability to mentor people in many areas and to guide them in integrating the various skills into a cohesive approach within the performing arts industry.

This funding will allow the company to work in a more structured way with aspiring artists and arts workers.  The mentee can be in professional or community work and at any stage of their career.

To apply please send an email to letting us know what area you are interested in and whom you would like to work with.  Please include contact details and a short statement of your artistic practice or area of interest.


Proudly supported by Lotterywest.

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