Nick Payne’s hit Royal Court play Constellations arrives in Richmond as part of a national tour, this time starring Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong. The play is about two people, Marianne, a physicist, and Roland, a beekeeper, and their relationship, which is explored through the medium of quantum multiverse theory – in short, it develops on different lines depending on which “universe” you are seeing.

It’s to director Michael Longhurst’s credit that this is not at all confusing: it’s easy to tell when we’re seeing a different world, and I liked the way many different scenes differed only slightly from each other. The play examines fate, choices and chance, as well as being funny, intelligent and thoughtful.

It’s a short piece, which I was thankful for – I think the replaying of the same scenes with slight differences might have become tedious after a while. However, as it stands I thought it was hugely engrossing. One scene in particular, told entirely through sign language, particularly appealed to me. Brealey and Armstrong were hugely likeable leads, encapsulating their characters perfectly.

Constellations is a romantic comedy with a twist, intelligent and thought provoking. Definitely recommended.


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