Tonight sees the opening of David Eldridge’s new play ‘Beginning’ at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. The Havering Daily caught up with Romford born and bred David and asked him about this amazing play and his career.
How did the inspiration for this play come about?
David replied: “The idea came second hand from a friend who had been at a party with a friend. The girl whose party it was quite fancied this friend and amid a sense of awkwardness and attraction the friend stayed. I thought that this would make a good play but never got round to writing it. As the years went by and I got older, the characters seemed to get older and at last I wrote it – and here it is!”
As a Romford boy, do you tend to use that as a background for your plays?
David replied “Yes in part; but playwriting is really about three things for me; I rely on imagination, observation and my own experiences. I don’t write exclusively about local things but as a lot of my experience in early life is locally based I use that. I compare my plays to supporting a football team, there are home games and away games; the home games the plays have a Havering basis and the away games from me having lived in various parts of London.”
Market Boy was acclaimed at the National Theatre and was a big success do you see this coming to the Queen’s Theatre?
“I would love it to” said David “ but it has a large cast, so I am not sure about how it could be put on. I worked on the market for some time after school and at weekends so had some great experiences. As with other plays like Basildon, Market Boy has a sense of “belonging” for local people. The audiences can relate to the place and the characters, so although it is a fictional world, it is one they feel at home with” After the easing of Covid restrictions do you see Theatres returning to some form of normality? “ ah! That is the 60 million dollar question” replied David. It is almost a Tale of Two Theatres! Whereas people in London are desperate to get back to normal and are going out to see plays, dine out etc. people outside of the capital are being far more cautious. London for years has seen trouble with various groups carrying out bombings and other disruptions but people have still gone resolutely about their daily lives . For out of London theatres there is a need for nationally known actors to be in a play to draw the audiences in. Also streaming to theatres will play a big part.
Have you as a writer struggled during Covid or has it given you fresh ideas?
“I have been really busy actually” said David, “I have some TV scripts which may come to fruition, which will be something new for me, and I am working on new projects so I have been busy. I have been very lucky to have had time with my family and relax; however when the lockdown was starting to ease I strangely found I was feeling burnt out. I believe that this was the stress of the pandemic which affected a lot of people in different WAYS. Happily now everything is back on track!”
David was super excited to be back at the Queen’s with this his new play and to be involved with the local community. Thank you David Eldridge for entertaining us and we eagerly look forward to seeing your new play as we know it will be fantastic!