Debut a powerhouse performance

The Star reporter Brenda Harwood
By Nick Payne
Hic Sunt Dracones
Beautiful Science Gallery, Tūhura Otago Museum
Sunday, May 26

Glorious shifting images of interstellar space and the complexities of the human brain formed a fascinating backdrop to a powerhouse performance of Constellations — Nick Payne’s intriguing, moving story of love across multiple universes.

The debut outing for newly-formed Dunedin professional theatre company Hic Sunt Dracones (Here Be Dragons), Constellations featured real-life couple Matt Wilson and Rosella Hart as beekeeper Roland and quantum physicist Marianne, who meet, sometimes fall in love and sometimes don’t, develop a long-term relationship or don’t, and must deal with a devastating life challenge.

Subtly directed by Kim Morgan, the duo shift seamlessly through the multiple versions of their characters — often depicting their interactions across five or more universes in quick succession.

Initially, the repetition of the interactions seems unusual, but one quickly becomes used to the shifting characters, so wonderfully and movingly created by Wilson and Hart.

The stunning backdrop imagery, created and projected by Matthew Morgan, with lighting by Garry Keirle, helps to indicate the changes.

As a found space, the Beautiful Science Gallery at Tūhura Otago Museum, with its high-spec projectors and large white walls is perfect to host Constellations.

All in all, this superb production of Constellations is a brilliant first outing for HSD and kudos is due to all involved. Highly recommended.

Constellations continues until Saturday.