Billie Piper, best known for her roles on the TV shows Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Dr. Who, will star in Lucy Prebble’s drama The Effect, according to The Daily Mail. Piper will play a star-crossed lover opposite Irish actor Jonjo O’Neill. Directed by the Headlong Theatre’s artistic director Rupert Goold, in a co-production with the National Theatre, the play will co-star Tom Goodman-Hill and Anastasia Hille. The Effect will begin performances at the National's Cottesloe Theatre on November 6.
The Effect follows volunteers who meet at a clinic while taking part in a pharmaceutical trial. Prebble’s previous plays include Enron and The Sugar Syndrome. She also served as a writer of the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which starred Piper as the title character. Goold will make his feature film debut directing James Franco in True Story before tackling the musical American Psycho in 2013 for the Headlong Theatre.
In other National news, Rory Keenan (On Home Ground, The Clinic) will join previously announced stars Bertie Carvel and Sebastian Armesto in Damned By Despair. An adaptation by Frank McGuinness of Tirso de Molina’s 1635 play, Damned by Despair is directed by Bijan Sheibani and will begin its run at the National’s Olivier Theatre on October 2, with an official opening set for October 10.