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Stephen Lovatt And Rachel Nash to Star in Mesmeric Thriller

Stephen Lovatt And Rachel Nash to Star in Mesmeric Thriller By Downton Abbey Writer

Enlightenment opens 28 May at Maidment Theatre

A spine-tingling thriller written by Olivier Award-winning playwright and Downton Abbey writer Shelagh Stephenson will open at Maidment Theatre on 28 May.

Enlightenment, directed by Andrew Foster (Apocalypse Z, Black Confetti) and starring Stephen Lovatt, Rachel Nash and Anna Jullienne, is the third play in Auckland Theatre Company's 2015 'Reinvention' season.

It's five months since the disappearance of Adam, Lia and Nick's backpacker son. Desperate, all they can cling to is a vague email mentioning Jakarta and the possibility that somewhere he may be alive. Unsure who to turn to, or even whether he's alive or dead, they frantically seek clues, comfort and strength.

Then, out of the blue, the lost young man, seemingly, materialises. But is he the real thing? As the couple seek enlightenment, a dark truth emerges which challenges their world view and plays on every parent's deepest fear.

In a time where natural disaster, terrorism and strange circumstances continue to leave us - and particulaly those affected by loss - with more questions than answers, Enlightenment contemplates the idea of hope amid fear, and investigates the deep impacts and outcomes of parental grief.

Playwright Shelagh Stephenson is probably known best as one of the writers forDownton Abbey. Her works are intense, intelligent, yet shot through with humour. Previous plays include the Olivier-winning comedy The Memory of Water, An Experiment with an Air Pump, Ancient Lights, Five Kinds of Silence, Mappa Mundi and The Long Road.

Acclaimed actors Stephen Lovatt (Top of the Lake, Once on Chunuk Bair, Speaking in Tongues) and Rachel Nash (The Almighty Johnsons, Outrageous Fortune) will lead the cast. The two are no strangers to the intangible - Lovatt recently played officer Pete in Jane Campion's acclaimed television series Top of the Lake, centering around a 12-year-old girl who has gone missing, while Nash had a lead role in the series The Cult, in which a group of people try to rescue their loved ones from a mysterious cult. Additionally, the two will star in an upcoming TV bio, Hillary, based on the life of the late Sir Edmund Hillary.

In 2014, Lovatt proved himself to be something of a stage-chameleon. His lauded performances saw him in roles that ranged from an upper class British fop in Fallen Angels, to a fire-brand New York lawyer in Angels in America and a reckless WWI officer in Once On Chunuk Bair.

The stellar supporting cast comprises Catherine Wilkin (Girl in Tan Boots, Mcleod's Daughters), David Aston (The Matrix, Lord of The Rings, The Crucible), Anna Jullienne (Anne Boleyn, Shortland Street) and Jordan Mooney(Once on Chunuk Bair, The Heretic, Lord of the Flies).

Auckland Theatre Company audiences who enjoyed Other Desert Cities, The Heretic, God Of Carnage, Blackbird or The Gift, or fans of Broadchurch, Top of The Lake or Twin Peaks, will find Enlightenment a satifsyingly intelligent and thrilling night at the theatre.

For more information or to order a copy of Auckland Theatre Company's 2015 season brochure, please visit


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