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Constellations | Theatr Clwyd

Constellations, a play written by Nick Payne and directed by Daniel Lloyd for Theatr Clwyd, follows the relationship of Marianne the Physicist (Gwenllian Higginson) and Roland the Beekeeper (Aled Pugh) through different time frames and multiverses, a theory that Marianne often discusses in her interactions with Roland. Marianne believes in the theory of multiverses where decisions made (or not made) pull life into a tangle of various directions, leading to many different ways in which the relationship could pan out, and this is explored through Payne's repetitive writing structure.

However, this never feels monotonous due to the incredible talents of Higginson and Pugh. Both give an incredibly impactful performance, quickly springing between moments of carefree innocence portraying the honeymoon phase of a relationship, to the testing moments of hardships that slowly chip away at a relationship. Both Higginson and Pugh are slickly able to switch between characterisations that signify the change of situation between the couple. Pugh gives standout performances in his moments of bumbling and unsure Roland, whereas Higginson truly thrives in the heartbreaking moments of desperation and sadness. Lloyd and Francesca Jaynes (movement director) have ensured that the plot flows seamlessly, with small moments of effective choreography that separate each multiverse. What truly stands out about this production is the way in which each element has been carefully considered to enhance Payne's writing, without taking the spotlight away from the heart of the play.

Hayley Grindle's set design is uncomplicated, yet visually stunning. With a bare oval stage surrounded by floor lights and hanging lights, the audience's focus is completely tuned into the small cast size of two, creating an intimate feel from the offset. Jonathan Chan's lighting design enhances the staging with atmospheric lighting, creating a cosmic feel that signifies multiple universes. Dyfan Jones' sound design creates tension and atmosphere, with effective use of subtle sound effects to transport the play to different locations.

Constellations is an incredibly impactful and universal piece of theatre, allowing audiences to relate and sympthasise with many different situations, or potential situations that a person can experience based on decisions made or not made. Constellations runs at Theatr Clwyd until 25th May, with a short run of a Welsh-language version on the 7th and 8th June. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Andrew AB Photography


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