Parallel Universes and Love Stories – Constellations

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Constellations since its first run at the Royal Court, and in between have had the pleasure of a fascinating workshop with the writer, Nick Payne.  Finally it’s on at the Lowry Quays Theatre (the smaller one with the fantastic view from the bar) and it’s full.

This was going to have been a play about parallel universes; in the end it’s a love story.  The idea of parallel stories, especially love stories, isn’t new but what Constellations does is to provide subtly different situations for the actors to show how they might develop and behave in different ways.  It’s less about the story and more about the decisions we make to become who we end up.  For that reason,  although Nick Payne’s writing is impressive, it is the actors and their ability to play instantaneously with character that drives this play.  We see that, far from having infinite outcomes, we can control the one person that we become.

Technically this play is impressive.  The stage design is balloons, lots of them, and they light up in different configurations as the play progresses.  Sound and light clearly signpost the possible outcomes.  Movement is split second perfect.

It’s over three years since this play opened but it’s still fresh.  If you love intricacies of character, see this.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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