The crisis of middle age. How is your marriage? Have you paid off your mortgage? Can you afford the school fee? How boring is your job? How is your sex life?

David Eldridge’s two-handed will resonate with many married couples who are under 50 and wonder where their lives are going.

Average it’s about frustration, regret, frustration and most of all, loneliness. How lonely are you? Perhaps watching a play can be a risk for many couples.

He loves her, but she no longer loves him. They have been married for 12 years. She says she fell in love with a postman, a married man with children, but they had no sex.

She resents the way he spoils their awkward daughter, and that it’s always her when it comes to parenthood, the one who has to say “no” all the time.

She wants to talk. But he is only capable of banter. There are class differences. She is better educated than him.

So what does the future hold? He has no idea. He is happy the way he is. The only regret is that I have no more children. She wants more out of life. She wants a better life. What will they do with it?

Eldridge’s script, sympathetic, and sad, and funny; but mostly sad, flawlessly played by Claire Rush Brooke and Daniel Ryan. The production lasts 100 minutes and is played out without a break. Directed by Polly Findley.

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Robert Tanitch reviews Middle at National Theatre/Dorfman

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