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Review: Beginning (Ambassadors Theatre)

Thursday, 25th Jan 2018  

Review: Beginning (Ambassadors Theatre)

The West End is littered with fantastic new plays transferring in from the subsidised theatre at the moment. With Mary Stuart and Ink coming from the Almeida to take over the Duke of York’s theatre, The Ferryman coming from the Royal Court to play at the Gielgud Theatre, now we have Beginning transferring from the National Theatre playing at the Ambassadors Theatre, and it absolutely belongs in the company of those exceptional plays.

BEGINNING is the story of Laura (Justine Mitchell) & Danny (Sam Troughton). At the end of a Party at Laura’s new flat in Crouch End to celebrate her 38th Birthday, Danny finds himself alone with her having elected to not get in the cab with the People he came to the party with.  What starts out as Laura wanting to simply sleep with Danny turns into an evening that could be the start of something much more significant.

This could be a rather by the numbers sitcom with that set up, but David Eldridge’s new play digs so much deeper. Yes it is incredibly funny and has beautiful heart to it, but it also probes at the fears of people who are approaching their 40’s as single people who want more that just a night of company but come with the baggage of lives that have had their fair share of ups an downs.

Sam Troughton is delightful as the shy and sensitive Danny. Funny, charming and beautifully vulnerable, we totally buy into the complexities of this character. Justine Mitchell is utterly brilliant as forthright Laura. Broken yet strong, tender and harsh we can’t help but fall for her the way Danny does. The chemistry between these actors is exquisite. They complement each other brilliantly, flipping the audiences’ perspective and allegiance with a look whilst never losing us. We are always rooting for them.

Polly Findlay directs this play with precision and heart. It is charming, funny and heart warming. It’s the perfect play to banish the winter blues.  Fly Davis’  incredibly detailed set is subtly lit by Jack Knowles.  Paul Arditti delivers another excellent sound design and the movement direction by Naomi Said adds a layer of grounded nuance that makes all the difference to the authenticity of this play.

Playing until March 24th 2018.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Show Reviews |