Review: Constellations, Royal Court
As settings go, the multiverse is a damn sight more ambitious than most. Over the course of its 65 minutes, Nick Payne’s Constellations comes within a whisker of making the most of it.
While Payne’s variations on a scene sit parallel to one another, there’s next to no real friction between them. The particulars that we’re privy to are merely alternatives, an arbitrary selection of scattergun possibilities.
Payne provides no reason why he shows us these versions as opposed to any other. Yet, to really nail the form, the different versions need to somehow rub off on or inform one another. Despite being distinct, they are, after all, seen sequentially. Each version inevitably impacts upon the next, because they add to the information about Roland and Marianne (as abtracts?) at our disposal. However, Payne hasn’t attempted to pin them together, so that what we see and the order in which we see it might inform our perspective of the rest. Without that relationship, Constellations is one layer short of brilliant completion.