Drawing: Joe Armstrong and Louise Brealey in Constellations


After premiering at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012, Nick Payne’s double-hander Constellations transferred to the Duke of York’s  in the West End, then onto Broadway before returning to London after a short UK tour to the Trafalgar Studios for a four-week run last month.

Described as ‘a singular love story with infinite possibilities’,  Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins played the original Roland and Marianne, the couple whose relationship is explored alongside the quantum multiverse theory. Jake Gyllenhaal made his Broadway debut with Ruth Wilson when the play moved to New York’s Manhatten Theatre Club in January 2013. The latest production featured Joe Armstrong and Louise Brealey taking to the stage, memorable for the glowing cluster of white balloons, which evoke, in the words of designer Tom Scutt, “synapses in the brain and atoms and sperm and weddings and parties..”…probably endless possibilities…like the play.

Louise sensibly walked to work on the Saturday when central London was gridlocked by a bike-mobilisation day so she arrived at the Trafalgar Studios with plenty of time to chat and sign my sketch. Joe biked…an unwilling participant in the RideLondon campaign, arriving late and dripping with perspiration. But he took the time to sign and christen my sketch with ink and a few drops of sweat.

Both Joe and Louise will appear in Husbands & Sons at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in October.

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