The Irish Theatre Players are a not-for-profit independent theatre group shaking things up in Subiaco, Perth. They produce a variety of works thorughout the year and clearly love what they do! This winter’s offering is Constellations, a work written by UK playwright Nick Payne – a compelling and elegant play about the infinite possibilities that multiverse theory offers. It’s also a beautiful love story.
Director Brendan Ellis has stripped back the script into its purest form in a way that places the focus on the intricate and clever dialogue. In a world of possibilities, every word and their sequence is important. As a two-person play, there are only so many interesting positions to put the characters in, yet Ellis creates a pattern of memory for each section. It’s hard to explain, as the piece itself is non-linear, however there are parts of dialogue that are re-spoken and given a different outcome or emotion. Ellis brilliantly treats each portion as though it were a dance, the starting position and dance moves remain constant as a way to ground the story.
The set design is also brilliant – Laura Heffernan has created a memorable space that utilizes the black box of the stage but has the ability to mesmerise. The splashes of star-like paint are paired perfectly with John Spurling‘s sensory lighting design. The whole effect is as if one is floating in the void – adrift in the universe.
Roland (Paul Davey) and Marianne (Madeline Jones) are destined to be together, in at least one universe…or is that multiverse? This fresh take on the ‘star-crossed lovers’ trope is a wonderful concept and is rendered remarkable by the Irish Theatre Players. Davey’s Roland is sweet, funny, and awkward. It’s such a demanding script as the actors must play different versions of themselves, and Davey has developed the sincerity and kindness in Roland perfectly. Likewise, Jones is phenomenal. Marianne is a fierce and feisty character full of intelligence and hopeless jokes. Jone is absolutely endearing as Marianne and her portrayal of the emotional journey of the character is without peer.
If you want a great night out, get yourself out to Subiaco and see this great work. Davey will charm you when reading his bee speech, Jones will crack you up with her awkward pick up lines, and the sound, lights and set will whisk you away into another part of time and space – if only for an hour and a bit!
Review | Laura Money
WHEN: 7 – 16 June 2018 | 8pm
WHERE: Irish Club WA | 61 Townshend Road, Subiaco | PERTH
INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 75 mins | No interval | Suitable 15+