Sara Keating: Constellations’ multi-layered stories reflect the chance and chaos in all our lives

A series of romantic encounters leads to life or death choices in Nick Payne’s intriguing and unsettling play

Sarah Morris and Brian Gleeson in Constellations by Nick Payne: at the Gate Theatre until June 2

In Nick Payne’s 2012 drama Constellations the opening lines are played in a loop. During the first ten minutes of the sharp, intense, tricksy play, the first scene starts and restarts, over and over, each version bringing us a tiny bit deeper into the story, which shifts subtly as it is replayed.

Plot, as Payne makes clear through both the form and the dialogue of Constellations, is not really the point. Life, as we live ...