Jthere were two lovers, Roland and Marianne, who lived in London, New York or maybe Dublin, now and never, once and always. Nick Payne’s 2012 play takes us away from this current moment, offering a broader and infinitely more dizzying view of existence. Whether seen through the eyes of beekeeper Roland (Brian Gleeson) or quantum physicist Marianne (Sarah Morris), the familiar essentials of a love story are opened to encompass multiple possibilities and outcomes. alternatives.
In Mark Atkinson’s dynamic Borrull production, the ramifications of each scene unfold like an intricate dance. Key moments in the couple’s relationship – meeting, first date, breakup, reunion, illness – are interpreted in fragments, with different inflections and outcomes each time, representing Marianne’s vision that everything exists simultaneously in the world. multiverse.
Whichever version of Marianne’s story she plays, Morris is open and passionate, with Gleeson’s funny, baffled Roland at times, a perfectly understated foil to her energy. Beneath a canopy of chandeliers, the couple’s image is reflected in designer Molly O’Cathain’s mirrored surfaces and ceiling, with shifts of time and place beautifully created by Paul Keogan’s clusters of light and direction of the Liz Roche movement.
Wrapped in lightness, the piece does not lose sight of the big questions: about reality, time, chance, free will, choice, death. Reflecting a non-linear view of cause and effect, the play returns to a central scene in which Marianne’s language breaks down due to illness. She speaks first in simple words, then in letters, later in sign language. “We have all the time we always had,” she says, as if it were a matter of perception and choice. Roland may or may not choose to agree.