BritishTheatre

Published on

October 13, 2017

REVIEW: Beginning, National Theatre ✭✭✭✭

By

markludmon

Beginning National Theatre

Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton in Beginning. Beginning

Dorfman, National Theatre

Four stars

Book Tickets

Two people dancing to Bros has probably never been so filled with such layers of drama, comedy and emotion as in David Eldridge’s latest play, Beginning. It is one of the highlights in a production that resembles a dance between a man and a woman, moving tentatively and nervously around each other, possibly edging towards what could be the beginning of something.

 

Beginning National Theatre

Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton in Beginning.

Beginning starts late at night in the Crouch End flat of Laura after everyone has left her housewarming party except for Danny who has been eyeing her up all night. They couldn’t be more different: she has a home in a smart north London neighbourhood, he comes from Essex; she is sexually confident, he is shy and lives with his mum and nan. But, as the clock ticks, layers are peeled away to reveal they have more in common than just a love of scotch eggs. Forty-two-year-old Danny has been broken by a past relationship and Laura, at 38, has her own anxieties, while both struggle with being alone as they approach middle age – single despite living in a world full of friends, colleagues and online dating.

 

Beginning at National Theatre

Sam Troughton and Justine Mitchell in Beginning

Their awkwardness is funny and delightfully painful to watch but, as we start to understand the baggage they carry, it feels more uncomfortable and almost voyeuristic. Directed by Polly Findlay, Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton give beautifully crafted performances, bringing meaning to every intonation, movement and expression.  They move like magnets around each other, continually attracting and repelling each other, where one misjudged comment can fling them to opposite ends of the stage – or to the safety of the kitchen.

The set, designed by Fly Davis, creates Laura’s living room in meticulous detail, with furniture and party detritus like a landscape of obstacles for Laura and Danny to negotiate as they get to know each other. At times very funny, Beginning also has moments of heart-breaking intensity but without  becoming sentimental. It is a masterful two-hander that will especially resonate with anyone who finds themselves single as they face middle age.

Running to November 14, 2017

BOOK NOW FOR BEGINNING AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE

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BritishTheatre.com
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The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..