Friday 27th January 2012
Constellations, a new play by Nick Payne, directed by Michael Longhurst in the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, is currently wowing audiences. You can see why. It’s about the relationship between a man who keeps bees and a woman who works as a cosmologist, and its form is a forensic series of repeats and restarts which create endless variations and alternative endings to this girl-meets-boy story. Yet although the critical response has been justifiably enthusiastic, few reviewers mentioned the piece’s debt to Caryl Churchill, Michael Frayn and Charlotte Jones’s Humble Boy. Is this a case of critical amnesia?