02/05/2015 - 16/05/2015
What if every choice you’ve ever made and never made, exists…
Boy (an easy going bee-keeper) meets Girl (a sophisticated quantum physicist) and so begins a deeply absorbing romantic journey which explores the infinite possibilities of their relationship, where each path they take shapes an entirely different future.
Written by one of Britain’s most exciting young playwrights, Constellations is an emotional, funny and thoughtful drama with identifiable characters and situations which raises questions about love, trust and free-will.
Show Sponsor: The Court Supporters
At The Court Theatre
2 – 16 May 2015
6:30pm Mon & Thu;
7:30pm Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat;
2:00pm Matinée Saturday 21 February.
To Book phone 03 963 0870or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz
Marianne – Renee Lyons
Roland – Wesley Dowdell
Director – Melanie Camp
Set Design – Mark McEntyre
Costume Design – Aimee Reed
Lighting Design – Giles Tanner
Sound Design – Hamish Oliver
Properties – Anneke Bester
Stage Manager – Jo Bunce
Operator – Sean Hawkins
Production Manager – Mandy Perry
Manager – Sarah Douglas
Workshop Manager – Nigel Kerr.
Engagingly playful speculation
Review by Lindsay Clark 04th May 2015
An absorbing exploration of advanced physics and that quantum business most of us treat with caution, if not outright suspicion, this two-hander – which opened at The Royal Court a scant three years ago – is equally a thoroughly homely romance. Melanie Camp’s direction achieves a nice balance, with her creative team and cast confidently aligned with both aspects of the play.
Marianne and Roland meet on the fringe of a rained-out barbecue. She works at a university in the field of quantum cosmology, thus allowing a conversational and quirky venture into quantum theory, involving the simultaneous existence of different outcomes in our lives. He, on the other hand, is at home with the meticulous and predetermined world of bees, where function is predictable and unchanging. Their ‘collision’ is both funny and at times, poignant.
Their underlying story runs a relatively familiar line of a relationship which builds, is broken and rebuilt, culminating in Marianne’s facing a biopsy. Within the frame many variations evolve as scenes are redeveloped again and again, the result of this response or that, so that a whole web of possibilities is woven. Each fresh start is cued by a sharp fracturing sound.
The challenge of creating consistent roles throughout the process must have been daunting, but both actors are compellingly truthful at all times, sometimes having to assume a complete contradiction of the attitude played only moments before. As Marianne, Renee Lyons is warmly spontaneous, finding the vulnerability within her role as the intelligent self-confident single.
Wesley Dowdell is similarly in fine touch as the bee keeper, Roland, fleshing out the sometimes sparse and often repeated dialogue with finely tuned physicality. As the ‘simple’ man, trying to adapt and communicate in impromptu situations, he is both funny and moving.
Support from the design team is more than ever significant, as two actors play out the variations on an otherwise empty stage. Mark McEntyre’s set, with lighting from Giles Tanner as well as sound and original music from Hamish Oliver, establishes the cosmic reference of the play through a polished black disc of a stage, backed by the darkness and scattered stars of space, with choral music suggestive of grandeur. Aimee Reed has the couple in casual outfits subtly underscoring the background of their characters.
Understanding of quantum theory itself, as a result of seeing this play, presumably also varies with the multiple universes we are ourselves moving within. What can be claimed with certainty in this one, is that a cleverly written demonstration is expressed in engagingly playful and human terms, as an invitation to speculate on our comfortable linear notion of reality.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer