Beginning by David Eldridge is an affectionate, endearing examination of a first date or one-night stand; depending on the characters’ point of view.
The excellent duologue finds Laura (Amanda Ryan) as the single executive worried about her biological clock and Danny (Simon Darwen) a relative stranger who has stayed late after a house warming party.
What follows is a journey through various pertinent and relevant discussions to those who find themselves single or estranged from their family.
Danny has the fuller character; the charm and fun of an Essex boy who is a bit “out of the game”.
He is on the surface fun, lonely and essentially a loveable lad who misses his daughter. We have glimpses into his past and his wish to improve his present circumstances.
Simon Darwen is excellent, full of fun and awkward attraction. Perhaps he gets the better chunk of the script but his dialogue flows with a glorious natural freedom and utterly believable even with his cleaning anxiety.
Amanda Ryan has an uphill job with the hard-nosed, determined executive with a plan for a baby.
There are times Laura is harsh and relentless in her endless questioning and repetitive script but the attraction between the two is sound and carries the play with great energy and moments of glorious stillness.
This is a thought provoking piece that will generate many conversations; the set by Fly Davis captures a Crouch End flat with ease.
The one act play flies by with moments of great fun and heart tugging honesty.
This is a refreshing example of some of the excellent new writing that is around; and a welcome change to the season to have contemporary issues exposed in a production first seen in 2017 at The National Theatre.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
Beginning is showing at the Theatre Royal in Bath until Saturday 2nd October 2021.