Sunday, July 16, 2017

CONSTELLATIONS



Written by Nick Payne
Directed by Caroline Stacey
The Street Theatre to 29 July

Reviewed by Len Power 15 July 2017

With the new production of ‘Constellations’, The Street Theatre has a play that entertains while it intrigues the audience as well.

Written by Nick Payne, ‘Constellations’ was first performed in London in 2012 and had a limited run on Broadway in 2015.  Without giving too much away, the play is a study of a relationship between two people, Roland and Marianne, from beginning to end.  He’s a beekeeper and she’s a physicist, which should give you a clue to the play’s unusual and fascinating structure.  You’ll work out quickly what’s going on and then it’s enjoyable watching a play that adds another dimension to what would otherwise have been a straightforward story.

Caroline Stacey has directed a tight, well-staged production that looks deceptively simple.  She has obtained strong, confident performances from her cast of two.  Lexi Sekuless is terrific as Marianne – happy, quirky, funny and emotionally honest.  What you see is what you get with Marianne.  Kristian Jenkins plays Roland as a man who has a lot going on under the surface – reserved, more sensitive than we first realize but not a great communicator.  It’s a very well thought out and effective performance.  Both performers demonstrate fine comic timing, giving the show some very funny moments.

Lexi Sekuless and Kristian Jenkins

 The other elements of this production add considerably to its success.  The abstract production design by Imogen Keen is attractive and colourful and uses the full size of The Street’s stage very effectively.  The excellent lighting design by Owen Horton not only enhances the set but helps to keep us focussed on where we are in the story.  Sound design by Kyle Sheedy is dramatic and atmospheric.

This is an absorbing and entertaining play which dares to be different and The Street Theatre has given it an excellent production.  I really enjoyed it.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7’s ‘Artcetera’ program (9.00am Saturdays) and on other selected Artsound programs.

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