Review: In Basildon
Royal Court Theatre, London SW1
The working-class play has stormed back on to the Royal Court stage. Romford-born David Eldridge sets his play in the living room of an Essex semi owned by the recently deceased Len, and populates it with Len's mourners - two feuding sisters, the comically named Maureen and Doreen, and Ken, his best mate. Also present are Barry and his terrifying wife Jackie who expects to inherit the house so they can chuck out Doreen and have a baby.
In that sense, Eldridge has written a deeply political play about the barriers to working-class aspiration. But it is also a hilariously funny work. Director Dominic Cooke, responsible in recent years for focusing the Court's gaze on middle-class lives, has with this superbly performed production triumphantly returned the venue to its traditional territory. The question is, how long will it stay there?