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Constellations at The Hen & Chickens Theatre, London

ConstellationsImagine rolling the dice 6000 times…
Marianne and Roland meet at a BBQ and fall in love. Or perhaps they don’t. Nick Payne’s Broadway hit play Constellations takes the simple encounter between a man and woman and explores the infinite possibilities of their relationship. This charming romantic comedy is a story about science, possibilities, love and honey.

A company borne out of the University of Leeds, 3 Hive Theatre is an upcoming theatre company who strive to use new and innovative staging and contemporary scripts to bring theatre to life. Following their sell-out run at The Banham Theatre, 3 Hive Theatre transfers Nick Payne’s Constellations to the Hen & Chickens theatre for the first time.

Directed by Sophie Drake, Constellations explores the relationship between Marianne and Roland through the cosmological lens of multiverses, imagining many varied paths for their romance. Starring Bella Hornby and Louis Dunbavin, this adaptation strives to pay homage to the subtlety of Payne’s writing, whilst portraying the parallel universes. It works to define each universe change with a set of entirely new circumstances, whilst maintaining Marianne and Roland’s characters. There quite literally is no place to hide for the actors in this play.

In an interview in 2012 with the Daily Telegraph, Payne observed how “Constellations is my attempt to dramatise this dilemma: the urge to remember versus the need to forget. But crucially it is also a play in which the science at the heart of quantum mechanics is explored through the many and varied possible lives of a single couple: cosmologist Marianne and artisan beekeeper Roland.

Constellations premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in January 2012, starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins and directed by Michael Longhurst. The play transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End in November 2012 and was named the winner of the best play category at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. It later transferred to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2015, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson.

ConstellationsDirector’s Notes: It is with great joy that 3 Hive Theatre brings Constellations to the Hen & Chickens Theatre. It is a play that tackles almost every possibility of a relationship between two people. What struck me when I first read Nick Payne’s writing was how deeply relatable it is. I believe that at least one aspect of Marianne and Roland’s story will resonate with every member of the audience, from their awkward first encounters to Marianne’s illness.

One of our biggest challenges was the form of the play, as Payne really does show how ‘every choice, every decision you’ve ever and never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes.’ Combining the simplistic set of a series of LED hexagons that created a grid on the floor with a star cloth served to envelop the world of Roland and Marianne. I wanted to create a beautiful setting for the performance that not only fitted
thematically but also encapsulated the profoundly tragic nature of their relationship.

Directing a two-hander has been a rewarding, scary and exciting challenge. I am proud of the commitment and hard work that our cast and creative team have put in to create something profoundly human, deeply tragic and funny all at once. Thank you to everyone who has supported this process, I really hope that you enjoy that show.

Performance Dates Thursday 28th – Saturday 30th June at 19:00
Running time 90 minutes, no interval
Location Hen & Chickens Theatre, St Paul’s Road, London, N1 2NA

Box Office Tickets are available from:

Full Price: £13.50
Concessions: £11.50

Director Sophie Drake
Producer Hannah Wisher
Assistant Director Lydia McKinley
Stage Manager Tom Monk
Cast: Bella Hornby and Louis Dunbavin
Twitter: @3HiveTheatre
Instagram: @3hivetheatre

The Hen & Chickens Theatre, London, N1 2NA
Thursday 28th – Saturday 30th June, 19:00


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