Dear friends and other interesting creatures –
I wish you enough,
What a truly stellar piece of writing by Nick Payne. The play tells of a love story that may or may not have taken place in an unlikely collision of paths. Marianne the Quantum Physicist meets Roland the Bee Keeper at a party.
The story plays out across several parallel universes sharing the same space in time. They meet and it ends there. They meet and Roland walks away from a possible infidelity, as he is a married man. In an alternate universe they fall in love.
In one universe he cheats on the marital home, in another she is the infidel. They part forever, or do they? In another universe, can they re-kindle what they had?
Marianne is played by a very talented Janna Ramos-Violante who has distinguished herself in multiple disciplines winning awards as an actress, playwright and director. Her performance in Constellations certainly is stellar. Her perfect English accent, comic pause and timing are outstanding. I am a fan.
Roland is played by Ashley Dowd, well-known to South African’s as a TV presenter, actor on Scandal and Generations as well as author of a travel journal. His plays a very believable role and makes Roland a very endearing character. The perfect Bee Keeper to a Quantum Physicist. He brings a lot of depth and human warmth to his role.
As a duo, they make for a stunning production. They play off each other very well and keep, what could be a repetitive and slow-moving production very interesting. A perfect casting for a really witty and intelligent thought-provoking piece of play writing.
Mention has to be made of the direction of the award-winning Alan Swerdlow, who has done a masterful job of bringing this award-winning play onto the South African stage. A privilege in view of the fact the play will only make its Broadway debut in 2015.
The set is very minimalist and lends itself well the action taking place on stage. Telling a good story can be done with the minimum of props and lighting effects. Lighting truly was used to signify the switch between universes at most. The soundtrack was all it needed to be. No more, no less. Perfect.
If I am to summarise I would say, a very brave production that explores life and how small changes can lead to a multitude of consequences and outcomes that can be happy or sad. The permutations can become endless. As humans we all play a game of, “What if I had done this or that differently? Where would I be now?” Constellations explores this aspect of humanity in a warm, witty, intelligent and honest way.
This is definitely a thinking person’s play and very well worth watching.