Kenneth Lonergan: The Starry Messenger, Wyndham’s Theatre, London (Director: Sam Yates)
By Sascha Krieger
The Starry Messenger, first performed on Broadway in 2009, is a labour of love. In it Kenneth Lonergan, since awarded with an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, remembers a teacher he encountered as a teenage by at the now long demolished Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Together with his childhood friend Matthew Broderick, Lonergan felt inspired by this quiet, serious man and started imagining his life story. Completed, it was Broderick himself, who brought the anonymous teacher to life and does so again in this year’s revival. This Mark in an introverted man, full of inferiority complex, of feeling inadequate, and in love with science. A husband and father, loving, yet not very good at showing emotions. Facing a (final?) career chance, an unlikely romantic encounter and hostile final class at the soon to be disappearing planetarium, he feels the pangs of middle age, the disappearance of opportunities, the running out of option.