Last night I was lucky enough watch Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong in the touring production of Constellations by Nick Payne. It is a tale of love and friendship between Roland a bee keeper and Marianne a scientist. The play explores the infinite possibilities and different out comes to the same situation. We've all been there. After a moment has passed wondering "What if?". What if I'd just asked him for a drink. What if I'd asked her to marry me. What if I'd had the courage to say hello.
We watch Roland and Marianne re-enact an awkward first meeting, falling in love, affairs and it's fascinating. The consequences of their actions change with a flash of light. The scene begins again and a different outcome is reached. The scenes don't follow a linear narrative and they jump back and forth across their timeline. This led to a great discussion after the show about which scenes fitted where in their story and what we hoped for the characters.
I adored this show. It was only 70 minutes long with no interval but that is perfect as there is no break from the magic of the world they have created. I have so much respect for Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong. They were on stage the whole time and replayed scene after scene with only slight changes to their lines but the inflection in their voices and their movements really affected the scene. I have no idea how they remembered where they were up to but the effect was magical. I laughed and I cried, I really felt for these two characters all tangled in their endless possibilities.
Then in good fangirl fashion I headed for the stage door to see if I could catch both Joe and Louise for autographs. I bought a program for them to sign but it was extra nice as the program doubled as a copy of the script. I thought this was a lovely idea. More shows should do this.
We were waiting a little while and this was the husbands first stage door experience. He was very impatient and kept asking when the cut off was. I informed him that waiting is a key skill of fangirling and he would be a rubbish one!
First Joe Armstrong appeared. I approached him for an autograph. He seemed surprised but happy to oblige. He was very friendly and we chatted to him about how much we loved the play. I told him I thought I was a great idea the script was in the program and he said "Well you can have a go yourselves now!" I laughed and James said "Well that's our evening sorted." He looked like he was about to head off for a night on the town and as he was leaving said "It's a great city you have here" and I couldn't agree more.
Then a few moments later Louise Brealey tumbled out the door arms full of flowers, bags and a big blue balloon! She was super sweet and plonked all her stuff down to sign our autographs. Again we told her we thought the play was wonderful and she thanked us for coming and agreed the writing was brilliant. She remarked "Joe wrote good luck, he always writes that." She asked if we'd like pictures and I had to crouch down because she's super tiny! We thanked her for stopping and after James gallantly helped her untangle her balloon from a drain she trotted of in to the night.
Both of them were lovely people, friendly and happy to chat to fans. This makes all the waiting worth while. No airs or hints of ego just generous with their time. A perfect end to a fantastic evening. However I did discover James makes a rubbish fangirl substitute. He didn't squeeee or want to repeatedly look at my pictures or autographs! Where are my girls when I need them? Canada and Carlisle that's where. Jackie I need Darren to train him up please!
Have you been to see Constellations? Let me know what you thought! You can click here to see a list of tour dates! http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/constellations-uk-tour