We caught this before its Evening Standard Best Play Award had had time to gather any dust and it was a treat to see the Duke of York’s full.
It takes string theory (the existence of several extra dimensions to the universe that have been compactified into extremely small scales, in addition to the four known spacetime dimensions -gettit?) to imply that there are almost identical versions of us out there somewhere in the multiverse, living subtly nuanced variations of our lives in endless permutations. Think Sliding Doors to infinity and beyond.
Nick Payne’s Constellations is a romance between a beekeeper Roland (Timothy Spall) and a quantum physicist Marianne (Sally Hawkins) which follows the droopy elastic theory assuming there are almost identical versions of us out there…
Roland and the gobby and clever Marianne meet at a barbecue and fall in and out of love or stay together. You decide. The awkwardness of a new relationship is endearingly captured. Both actors are terrific, how on earth do they remember which version of the storyline they’re in? The lighting (Lee Curran) is fantastic and even Phil loved the cosmossy design (Tom Scutt) despite it being a stage strewn with his theatrical bête noire balloons.
We saw this with its Olivier Best Play trophy recently awarded and it was a treat to see the Duchess of York groaning at the seams.
It all could have gone so horribly wrong; the constant repetition of scenes, sometimes with the same dialogue, sometimes with the same dialogue just replayed from another angle was a risk but despite paying off quite hypnotically didn’t send Andrew to sleep.
Director Michael Longhurst keeps it playful, funny and touching and there are multiple product placements for Budgens. It never outstays its welcome as it’s only 70 minutes long, it’s only 65 minutes long and yet it slightly did our heads, it slightly did Phil’s head in.
The lighting is fantastic and even Phil loved the design despite it being a stage strewn with his theatrical bête noire park benches.
We liked it a lot. We quite liked it. We loved it.
You don’t have to be a quantum physicist to work out the average.