Rosemary Friedman writes a humorous play about grief

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Heartache can be humorous, according to North London writer Rosemary Friedman. The 79-year-old’s latest play, An Eligible Man, is a comedy of grief. It opened at Hampstead’s New End Theatre last week for an exclusive six-week run. The play features a widowed circuit judge, left lonely and totally unprepared to cope after his wife dies, before being pursued by three different women — each one representing an attribute of his late wife.

She tells People: “I based the play on the quote by Mark Twain: ‘Humour is the effort to throw off, to fight back, the burden of grief that is laid on each one of us.’” Originally published as a novel, An Eligible Man is Ms Friedman’s third play. She has written commissioned screenplays in both the UK and US, and television scripts including BBC One’s Doctors. She has published two children’s books and more than 33 short stories. Among them is Rose of Jericho, part of an Anglo-Jewry trilogy.

“The play [An Eligible Man] has something for everyone, of all generations,” she says.

Ms Friedman is a member of Central Synagogue.

Last updated: 11:42am, May 8 2008