Constellations

Previewed 13 January 2012, Opened 19 January 2012, Closed 11 February 2012 at the Royal Court's Upstairs Theatre
Previewed 9 November 2012, Opened 16 November 2012, Closed 5 January 2013 at the Duke of York's Theatre
Previewed 9 July 2015, Opened 14 July 2015, Closes 1 August 2015 at the Trafalgar Studio 1

Nick Payne's Constellations in London starring Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong - this acclaimed production returns to the West End following a major national tour.

One relationship. Infinite possibilities. A story of love, honey, and a quantum multiverse. Moment by moment, can everything you've ever and never done exist in the same vortex of reality? Elegant and playful yet profoundly moving, Constellations blends the everyday and the ethereal, the actual and the imaginable, revealing that every outcome may only be the first link in a chain of cosmic consequences - an explosive new play about free will and friendship.

The cast features Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong. It is directed by Michael Longhurst with designs by Tom Scutt and lighting by Lee Curran. Joe Armstrong's West End credits include Trevor Nunn revival of Terrace Rattigan's play Flare Path at the Haymarket Theatre in 2011. Michael Longhurst's London directing credits include Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews at the Arts Theatre in 2015.

When this production returned to the West End in July 2014 starring Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong, Sam Marlowe in the Times highlighted how "The stars align beautifully in Nick Payne's dizzying, dazzling drama of love, cosmology and beekeeping. Michael Longhurst’s absorbing production, which opened at the Royal Court in 2012, has since had success in the West End and on Broadway and returns to London fresh from a national tour," adding that this is a "moving, intelligent and hugely stimulating work." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard explained that "recast version makes Nick Payne's two-hander seem less about crippling self-consciousness than the awkward dynamics of affection. Louise Brealey is not as expansive and motor-mouthed as her predecessor Sally Hawkins, yet manages to appear both brittle and soulful, while the reliable Joe Armstrong is earthier and less effusive than Rafe Spall. Together they have a strange but plausible chemistry, and our glimpses of their lives tease the brain and the heart." Chris Bennion in the Daily Telegraph wrote that, "happily the two-hander, which explores a relationship through the prism of quantum multiverse theory (that old chestnut), still shines and Michael Longhurst’s production remains as lean and snappy as its script (coming in at a brisk 70 minutes). Even if the two stars don’t always capture the chemistry needed to deliver the emotional wallop the material cries out for, Constellations remains superb."

This production, which comes into London's West End following a regional tour, was originally presented at the London's Royal Court Theatre Upstairs Theatre from 13 January to 11 February 2012 and then in the West End at the Duke of York's Theatre with a cast that featured Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall when it previewed from 9 November 2012, opened on 16 November 2012 and closed on 5 January 2013.

"Constellations is an entrancing, intriguing gem, performed by two actors whose own stars are in the ascendant... A two-hander, the piece focuses on the relationship between Roland and Marianne but it shows the myriad possible paths that the relationship could take, exploring how small, seemingly insignificant actions and decisions can affect our future. It also questions how much of our lives are governed by free will, resembling a kind of Sliding Doors but with greater complexity, poignancy and humour... Occasionally the work almost feels like a structural experiment but while it grapples with big ideas, it always feels unpretentious and so well observed, helped by a naturalistic dialogue that captures the awkwardness of fledgling romances." The Daily Express

"The transfer of this 70-minute dazzler to the West End, from the Royal Court's minute upstairs space, happily coincides with it winning the London Evening Standard's Best Play Award... Marianne, a quantum physicist who loves honeyand Roland, an urban beekeeper, meet at a friend's barbecue. At least that is one possibility. Marianne explains: 'In the quantum multiverse, every choice, every decision you've ever made or never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes.' It's not easy to get your head around the physics but Constellations helps by giving alternative versions of the same scene. In Michael Longhurst's superb production, lights snap, crackle and pop and a different option is explored, just as we all do in our minds. If Roland had been dating someone else, or Marianne's tumour had proved benign, everything might have turned out otherwise. Though the piece picks away at your brain, there's no difficulty getting your heart around this couple, who capture the excitement and intensity of falling head over heels in love and raise the possibility that even after death, in a parallel universe, love goes on and on." The Mail on Sunday

"Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins play a man and a woman who exhaust virtually every possible way of handling their first encounter, sex, marriage, infidelity and death, in Michael Longhurst's brisk and efficient little production. While at times it feels like watching a pair of actors auditioning for drama school - and, all too often, a straight rip off of Groundhog Day - it is hard not to be impressed by their range as they necessarily have to explore the gamut of emotions from A to Z." The Sunday Telegraph

Constellations in London at the Trafalgar Studio previewed from 9 July 2015, opened on 14 July 2015 and closed on 1 August 2015.