Writer David Eldridge was born in Romford and it shows throughout the show with references to Romford Market, Dagenham Fords and Towngate Theatre. It’s clear that ‘In Basildon’ is returning to it’s home grounds and it’s certainly a show that will be highly appreciated by an audience from this area.
The show begins with the family gathering around the dying Len, who previously worked in management at Fords in Dagenham, but Len’s death doesn’t bring the family together but instead splits it further apart, bringing out all previous conflicts.
The night was close to a EastEnders episode, with the jeopardy and plenty of cliffhangers that all had me sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next big plot twist. But the night is not a sad, dreary affair and is adorned with plenty of japes and jokes, all very much in the vein of the Essex spirit.
I’ve always thought that a great way to tell a great cast is that they help you to forget that it is a play and simply draw you into the story and this was certainly true for this show. I forgot about the cast and simply wanted to get to the next big plot twist of the night
The play was set on a high stage, with a simple set that doesn’t change much during the show. This did take away from the size of the stage but this was done to emphasis the smallness of the house that stands at the centre of the plot
The ending of the play is set before Len’s Death and aims to show the beginning of the conflict. Although this did answer a few questions, part of me felt some of it should have been left to the audience’s imaginations.
Overall the night was great, the cast were spot on and really drew me into the story. But the staging was a little odd, with the stage held high above the audience in a boxed area and the ending felt a bit unnecessary. But overall I enjoyed it and would highly recommend you go and see it