A physicist, philosopher, playwright and bee-keeper may seem an unlikely combination, but such was the panel for a fascinating post-show Q&A following Constellations at the Duke of York's Theatre on Friday (30 November).

Nick Payne's award-winning two-hander, billed as a romantic comedy, has transferred to the West End following its premiere in the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.

The play centres on the relationship between bee-keeper Roland (Rafe Spall) and cosmology academic Marianne (Sally Hawkins).


After the performance, Payne was joined by philosopher AC Grayling, physicist Ben Allanach and real-life beekeeper Steve Benbow in an enlightening discussion chaired by Royal Court literary manager Chris Campbell.

Highlights ranged from discussions of bee behaviour to overviews of multiverse and string theory and even a pun, courtesy of AC Grayling ("will it become a bee movie?").

Payne, who at 29 became the youngest ever writer to win the Evening Standard's Best Play award last month, revealed the play had been sparked by a documentary on physics, while Grayling and Allanach welcomed the play's accessible marriage of science and art.

Constellations continues at the Duke of York's until 5 January 2013.