We have all the time we’ve always had. You’ll still have all of our time, when I’m gone. There’s not going to be any more or less of it.
Constellations, written by Nick Payne and directed by Kat Henry for Queensland Theatre 2017 season has many levels of complexity if you want to over-think it (or if you are a theoretical physicist like Marianne the heroine of the story) but if you are a romantic, or any other kind of human being, Constellations, at the hands of Jessica Tovey and Lucas Stibbard, is the destination of a subtle and quietly-beautiful piece that takes you on a romantic stroll into total oblivion.
The audience witness particles of a love story pan out across many possible realities almost simultaneously; Marianne (Tovey) and Roland (Stibbard), the play-things of fate, fall for each other, get married and confront terminal illness and the inevitability that one of them will end up alone.
It plays with the way you imagine a future with your crush before even saying hello. It also plays across the actual constellations; An astounding, unique set design by Anthony Spinaze has the actors raised on a terrain-like stage, reminiscent of galaxy maps from a star-gazers atlas. I’m not sharp enough on my cosmology to know if the moving patterns beneath the actors’ feet mapped out some special message to the cosmonauts in the room.
Two actors perform for eighty minutes with no interval, no props and no hyper-drama. These are quiet, meaningful words spoken as if by transcript, the life of two lovers, a spec of dust in all the entirety of existence. Tovey and Stibbard easily keep the audience’s attention with this delicate two-hander.
Constellations is a first collaboration between the art and science for the Brisbane Science Festival and an elegant choice to launch a relationship. Constellations is showing now until April 8 at Billie Brown Theatre.