9-13 June 2015
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
Thought provoking, intense, and interesting are just a few words I could use to describe Nick Payne’s Constellations. The play shows how our lives could alter dramatically by people’s attitudes, words or actions, as in if there were parallel universe.
We meet two characters, Roland and Marianne and witness a blossoming romance, but with a flash of the set, which I will come onto later, it shows how their romance pans could change. Using the same sample of script the actors change when the lights flash, their stance, how tactile they are with each other and even the pitch of their voice alters. It really is very very cleverly written and unlike anything I have seen before. The play not only covers the love story between Roland and Marianne but also more serious issues such as cancer and assisted suicide. The theme of parallel universe and the shortness of life is referenced nicely in the characters professions, Roland as a bee keeper and Marianne as a physicist.
The roles of Roland and Marianne are play superbly by Joe Armstrong and Louise Brealey, it would be very hard to pick one over the other as shining out as both played their parts to perfection. It must take a very talented actor to be able to perform the same script in such a variety of ways. Credit must also be given to the director of course.
The set comprises of a variety of balloons in different sizes which flash when there is a change in the path the future of Roland and Marianne may take. It really is very clever, simple yet effective, serving as a backdrop and not to distract from the talent of the actors.
This is a play which after seeing will have you thinking about how your actions and your reactions with your friends and family affect your future. Another touch that I would be amiss not to mention is the fact that the programme includes the scrip of the play. I could not recommend enough that you see it.
Tickets cost from £19 to £24 (includes £2 booking fee).
Constellations is at The Lowry in Manchester until 13 June 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000