Beginning follows Laura (Justine Mitchell) and fellow singleton Danny (Sam Troughton) as they experience those precious few hours after a house party where there's optimum wine in the system for deep conversations and bold choices. Complete with a ketchup stain on his shirt, Danny clumsily navigates the lighthearted conversation with endless puns and Cockney rhyming slang, but intelligent Laura sees right through his facade. She discovers a warm, kind, lonely man. A kindred spirit.
Directed by Polly Findlay, Beginning is the epitome of naturalism with writing (from David Eldridge) that depicts the reality of our era expertly. The characters are wholesome and believable, each with their own relatable real-life problems. Mitchell and Troughton's chemistry is electric, and their characters' connection blossoms naturally throughout the play. The piece provides just the right amount of quirkiness to keep us engaged, and we long for the pair to finally seal the deal with a kiss.
The characters discuss Facebook, politics, gender equality, and that's all it is. A discussion. It is so refreshing to not have deep views, messages and issue based theatre shoved down your throat, but to simply intertwine it through the piece via discussion. There are magical moments of silence within the piece and we feel their excitable anxiety so tangibly. I found myself smiling for the entirety of the piece. The duo are utterly brilliant, with admirable characterisation and naturalism. This charming piece is exactly what I'd hoped it would be and more. - Faye Butler