These two characters seem, at first, to have nothing in common. Laura is a recently signed up member of the Labour Party, but too busy as Managing Director of her company to go door to door with fliers. She bristles with irritation each time Danny's 'roughed-up' Essex tones profess patronising attitudes towards 'a bit of skirt', or litter his sentences with sexist language. Yet she maintains that he should stay.
Time ticks by, more and more drinks are pulled out of the fridge, but the odd couple fail to make their way upstairs. Soon they discover that despite their apparent differences, they both exist in a toxic mental maze of loneliness, insecurity and English inhibition. Maybe, just maybe, if they can make it upstairs together, they'll get more than just sex from one another. Or maybe not.
In a playful inversions of rom-com tropes, writer David Eldridge taps into a reality that millennials can't fail to recognise. Instead of a bland 'cute meet' and inevitable happy ending we are presented with frictions between gentrifying liberal ideals and lad culture; the plight of ageing parents; the everyday loneliness of keeping down a stressful job; the tick-tock of the biological clock and the unlikeliness of ever being able to buy a flat in Crouch End.
The two actors bring warmth and nuance to a couple of characters who, in other hands, would be pretty unlikeable. Their sharp questions and stuttering answers inadvertently encourage us to reconsider their own lives. And we find ourselves, the rather romance-less beginning, rooting for this unlikely couple.
|Beginning, Ambassadors Theatre review
|Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, WC2H 9ND | MAP
15 Jan 18 – 24 Mar 18, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|£15 - £100
|Click here to book now