Main House


A National Theatre production in association with Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch Starring Amanda Ryan and Simon Darwen
  • 24 September - 2 October

Event Information

Evenings 7.30pm
Matinees Thurs & Sat 2.30pm

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Fri 24 Sep — Sat 2 Oct

★★★★★ “A must-see hit. Quite simply, magnificent” Evening Standard

Every story starts somewhere…

It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny is the last straggler at Laura’s housewarming party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. One more drink? Laura (Amanda Ryan) is 38, single, childless and with no immediate family; Danny (Simon Darwen)  is 42, divorced, living with his mother and has not seen his daughter for a number of years.

BEGINNING begins with Laura and Danny nearly kissing and charts their journey in real time as they both begin to open up to one another. They dance to Bros, consume fish finger sandwiches and share just where they are in London and their lives.

David Eldridge’s ‘gorgeous new play’ (Independent) takes a touching look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance.

This tender and funny critically acclaimed smash hit received its world premiere at the National Theatre in 2017 before transferring to the West End. Revivied by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch this Autumn, it marks the first visit by the National Theatre to the Theatre Royal Bath since 2019, as part of a major national tour.

★★★★★ “Gorgeous new play. Wry, funny and touching” Independent

★★★★★ “One of the funniest, most touching seduction scenes you’ll ever see on stage” Daily Telegraph

★★★★★ “A pleasure. Honest, funny and good-hearted” Whatsonstage

★★★★ “An expertly scripted rom-com. A glorious evening” Evening Standard


Friday 24 September – Saturday 2 October

Evenings 7.30pm

Matinees Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm

Tickets from £24.50

A booking fee of £1.75 per ticket applies

Lee Dean and Theatre Royal Bath Productions present the National Theatre Production in association with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

BEGINNING by David Eldridge

Starring Amanda Ryan and Simon Darwen

Directed by Joe Lichtenstein
From the Original Production by Polly Findlay

Design by Fly Davis

Lighting Design by Jack Knowles

Sound Design by Paul Arditti

Movement Direction by Naomi Said

Amanda Ryan, best known for her role on Channel 4’s Shameless as Sgt. Carrie Roger, will play Laura in Beginning. Ryan’s numerous acting credentials include the BBC adaptation of Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt starring Ben Whishaw, Harriet Walter and Alex Jennings, due for release later this autumn; Casualty (BBC); The Forsyte Saga (Granada Television). For the big screen, Ryan has starred alongside Bob Hoskins, Anthony Head and John Shrapnel in the rom-com Sparkle and with Cate Blanchett in the Academy Award-winning film Elizabeth. Ryan has performed in many theatre productions including plays at the following prestigious London venues: the Criterion Theatre, the Playhouse Theatre, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and the National Theatre.

Simon Darwen will be playing Danny in Beginning. Darwen’s TV credits include Russell T Davies’ Years and Years for BBC/HBO starring Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear and Russell Tovey; The Bletchley Circle, Silent Witness and the BBC’s Call the Midwife. His theatre credits include Missing People (Leeds Playhouse/National Theatre Tokyo), King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath), Mad About the Boy (Young Vic), Lizzie Siddal (Arcola), Love Love Love (Paines Plough), Our Country’s Good (Out of Joint) and The Merchant of Venice (RSC).

Box Office phonelines are currently open from 10am – 6pm Monday – Saturday.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to the performance, unless otherwise stated.

Tickets for Main House productions may include a £2 building levy.

Please see the ACCESS page for details regarding our Access Register and associated discounts.

A booking fee of £1.75 per ticket applies to all bookings.

Standby tickets and standing spaces are currently unavailable

There is a lift for wheelchair users from the Theatre foyer to the Stalls and Royal Circle levels. The Dress Circle and Grand Circle are stair access only.

Full booking terms & conditions can be found here