The stars have aligned (literally) for local theatre company BlackBox Creative as Jordan Mooney, star of the hit NZ television show Westside, returns home to Hamilton to star in the award-winning play Constellations by Nick Payne this August.
Usually based in Auckland, where he is currently filming season 6 of Westside, Mooney has joined forces with local performer Natalie Swart and BlackBox Creative, to bring this hit show to the Waikato.
Constellations, which won the Evening Standard Best Play Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play, opens at the Meteor in Hamilton on August 5 and runs until August 8.
"I can't wait to work on stage in the Waikato again," says Mooney. "It's such a joy filled experience putting my sweat, blood and tears into the theatres where I grew up.
"I've always admired the work that Blackbox Creative have done; there's always been a degree of ambition and fearlessness that I love to watch. It's going to be a pleasure to be on the other side.
"I jumped at the chance to be a part of this play," says co-star Natalie Swart.
"This is theatre, stripped bare, and these sorts of roles don't come along too often. I'm really amped to share Constellations with Hamilton."
Nick Payne's Constellations is a two-hander play with Mooney and Swart being the sole cast members. The play is about free will, friendship, quantum multiverse theory, love and honey.
A spellbinding and romantic journey that begins with the simple encounter between a man and a woman, Constellations delves into infinite possibilities, raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.
It's an uncomfortable, yet delicious, hilarious and heart-warming piece that's set to leave audiences spellbound.
The New York Times said: "Constellations gets into your head and under your skin."
"I've always wanted to direct Constellations, but I never thought it would be quite like this," says director and BlackBox co-founder Melisa Martin.
"It's been such an interesting process to develop the first stages of the play online, without meeting in person, but it meant we analysed the text a lot deeper than we typically would have; that's reflected in the incredible performances Jordan and Natalie are delivering now."
The production faced the expected logistical problems that came with the global pandemic.
"Initially, it was challenging," says producer and BlackBox co-founder Jacinta Parsons, "but it ultimately worked really well. We held auditions, callbacks and the first five rehearsals on Zoom; it was quite surreal.
"There was a lot of uncertainty during lockdown, but we wanted to be ready in case the show went on. And it looks like we have the green light!
"It's truly amazing to see now what creativity has been produced during lockdown in our local arts scene; it's more alive than ever."
Constellations is BlackBox Creative's fifth show since the company was conceived in 2014 with the aim of bringing dynamic and high calibre theatre to the Waikato and making performance art accessible to all.
Their first production, The Last Letter, was an original show by Martin, and shows since then have varied from Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) to Broadway musicals (Spring Awakening).
Constellations is showing at The Meteor every evening from August 5 to 8, with an additional early evening performance on August 7 and a matinee on August 8.
• Tickets are $15 (matinee), $20 (concessions) and $25 (general admission). Click here for tickets and more information.