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Beginning, Theatre Royal, Bath Review

Beginning, Theatre Royal, Bath Review 
David Eldridge’s play, Beginning, is love story of modern times, taking account of the contemporary view that you should have a life plan which naturally never goes according to plan, and perhaps it’s better to leave it to chance, mutual attraction and kismet. Amanda Ryan as Laura and Simon Darwen as Danny have plenty of chemistry between them and make the play their own.

In the aftermath of Laura’s house-warming party (she’s recently bought a small flat in Crouch End), amongst empty pizza boxes and dirty glasses there’s a straggler left behind who she probably didn’t invite in the first place but coasted in amongst other friends. Viewing the mess between them they begin to connect; two very different people living at opposite ends of London, Laura begins to open up and show that although she appears the more sophisticated of the two, she has doubts and worries – has her burgeoning career stymied hopes of a family of her own?
Beginning, Theatre Royal, Bath Review 

Danny is a proper Essex boy he feels out of place and fumbles for words and patently thinks it’s his job to clear up her mess. He has problems too; his dad walked out on the family when he was little, and he’s divorced with a daughter but is denied access to her. Shallowly Laura takes the mickey out of his accent and he bites back by taking a crack at the price of her flat which means little to her but would be unattainable to him and his circle of friends.

Amid this dissention, arguing becomes sparring until they find common ground. As this is a thoroughly modern story the dialogue is peppered with crudities which lends to the spikiness of the drama but wears thin after a while. There are surprises, but you must wait for them, and Amanda Ryan and Simon Darwen do well to keep the audience interest peaked throughout the performance which has no interval.

It’s an interesting and thought-provoking piece and if it were a pilot for television it would be ripe for a series of “what happened next”.

Jacquie Vowles
Beginning, Theatre Royal, Bath Review 

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