I’ve been thinking recently* about the 1997 Martin Amis novel Night Train, in which a philosophical linguist is suspected in the death of his girlfriend, an astronomer. She studied big things; he obsesses over the subjunctive. There’s a similar career disjuncture in Nick Payne’s Constellations, about the relationship(s) between a theoretical physicist (Rachel Dulude) and a beekeeper (Josh Short). She’s English and brilliant. He’s… a guy. Now in its final week, The Wilbury Group production—the second local staging in less than a year— has a choose your own adventure feel, where time hiccups constantly and the actors begin again every couple of minutes, or even seconds. It sounds dreadful on paper but it’s quite effective, well directed by Aubrey Snowden and excellently handled by both actors. Performed entirely on the floor with probably the best set I’ve seen in the current Wilbury Group space; credit Max Ponticelli for the honeycomb hexagons drawn over a purplish galaxy, the stage descending back into an infinite dark.
* A movie adaptation starring Patricia Clarkson, Out of Blue, came out two weeks ago but only played at the $3 theater in East Providence. It’s gone already.