Summer Begins follows four young people in and out of love, adrift in suburbia. Dave has asked Gina to marry him over the poppadums in their local Indian restaurant. Unfortunately, Dave isn’t really her dream come true – not much else is either. She works at a supermarket checkout, and doesn’t have any other options. Sherry’s doing better, with a graduate job, but sees her life shrinking to nothing more than work day after day. She’s started seeing Lee, who ought to be all set up since his dad won the lottery, but he’s lost and unmotivated, and lonely.
Eldridge’s skilful command of dialogue adds touches of poignancy to the domestic squabbling, showing with sympathetic humour and quiet melancholy how a changing country can leave young people without direction, struggling to take responsibility.
Summer Begins was first performed in 1997 at the Royal National Theatre Studio, London.