Welcome to the Begin/End blog. Use this blog to look behind the scenes as this brand new contemporary play is created. Then go see Begin/End and let us know what you think. If you want to find out where Begin/End is on and how to buy tickets visit the Half Moon web page

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London, Limehouse, E1, United Kingdom
We are an East London based theatre venue producing and presenting great theatre for and with young people

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

VJ Paul Hithersay reflects on how Begin/End has developed

First time I've been to Cambridge and the Junction in years. The venue looks absolutely great from outside and the work done on the inside has utterly transformed it.

My eyes just went straight to Anna's set on stage where it looked so perfect from the height and distance of our seats, it made me say 'wow' out loud! This was the first time I'd seen it since the tech rehearsal, it was like being greeted by an old friend!

Then the first words and I'm impressed again at just how strong and natural Amy's characterisation of Lili has become. I was always impressed with what I saw of Amy's work in development at Half Moon, with the whole process of Angela's direction and the ideas that emerged. The performance I was seeing here was perfect. This IS Lili. Then from the moment Yaz appears I'm transfixed again. The timing and poise that Rachel has and maintains throughout, is, actually awesome. The way she conveys Yaz's character growing and changing is so well conceived. Her movement, body language, gestures, voice, and facial expressions are riveting and they absolutely fit the moment.

What really works for me is the amazing dynamic that has developed between these characters. I was hugely impressed by the way in which Amy and Rachel have worked together in making the relationship between Lilli and Yaz so believable through how (as actors) they move and interact physically on stage. The way Rachel has understood Yaz as someone who changes while her friend Lili stays stuck, is played out physically, as well as in dialogue and narrative, with great insight, finesse and empathy. They have both made this work on so many levels. The way Amy lives Lili's turmoils, frustrations and rejection is just brilliant. She makes you able to feel exasperatingly contradictory emotions about the way Lili thinks and behaves. You feel her almost going mad with both the joy and the pain. The story is of a roller-coaster emotional journey, Amy and Rachel took us on it with impressive skill and power.

The stage management was seamless magic, the music filled and fitted the world of Lili and Yaz's journey with real integrity and purpose. I thought the visuals worked well, not too intrusive but still appropriately meaningful. There was never a moment when my attention was away from the action. Time belonged to the world within the stage and the story. Lili and Yaz (Amy and Rachel) absolutely owned it!

A superlatively impressive show in a very impressive venue.

Judging from the audience response and the perceptive, enthusiastic questions afterwards, they were very impressed, too!

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