Constellations stars Russell Tovey as Roland and Omari Douglas as Manuel, as two star-crossed lovers. These two actors are simply superb with exceptional execution of their respective stage craft to such a huge and well-honed degree. Written by Nick Payne, the dialogue is repeated over and over and by subtle changes in nuance and inflection we get a different mood, a contrasting message of what the characters are saying to each other. Here Payne also introduces layered conversation laced with pure comedy gold zingers and where Tovey in particular almost changes his voice to create a completely different persona, it brought the house down.
Their individual stage presence is phenomenal with both of them completely in control of the pace and delivery of the dialogue. Constellations asks questions about propositions, loneliness and the need for companionship when dark thoughts enter your mind; the plays also discusses assisted suicide. With lighting by Lee Curran and magnificent directing by Michael Longhurst, at a flick of switch Tovey and Douglas give compelling and dynamic performances. It’s very clear – almost written in the stars – that their roles in Constellations are the hottest ticket right now in the West End.
Constellations runs to Saturday 11th September at the Vaudeville Theatre, 404 The Strand, London WC2R 0NH. Box office: 0330 333 4814.
Photos by Marc Brenner