David Eldridge (dramatist)

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David Eldridge
Eldrige in London, 2006
Born (1973-09-20) 20 September 1973 (age 50)
EducationBrentwood School (Essex)
University of Exeter
Occupation(s)Playwright, screenwriter, educator
Years active1995–present

David Eldridge (born 20 September 1973) is a British dramatist and screenwriter, born in Romford, Greater London, United Kingdom.[1][2][3] His plays have been produced in the West End and on Broadway. He has written for stage, screen and radio.


His plays have been performed at major new writing institutions in the UK, including The Royal Court Theatre, the Bush Theatre, the Finborough Theatre and the National Theatre. His stage adaptation of the film Festen transferred from the Almeida Theatre to the West End and Broadway. His play Market Boy, informed by his childhood working on a stall at Romford Market, played at the National Theatre's largest space, the Olivier in June 2006. In July 2008 his play Under the Blue Sky was revived at the Duke of York's Theatre starring Chris O'Dowd, Catherine Tate and Francesca Annis.[4] [5] [6][7]

In March 2011 his play The Knot of the Heart played at the Almeida Theatre and starred Lisa Dillon, for whom the role of Lucy was written and in February 2012 his play In Basildon, played at the Royal Court Theatre directed by Dominic Cooke starring Linda Bassett and Ruth Sheen. Both plays opened to critical acclaim. The Knot of the Heart won the Off-West End Theatre Award for Best New Play[8] and In Basildon was voted The Guardian Theatre Critics and Arts Writers No.1 Theatre of 2012.[9] In April 2012 the Royal Exchange Theatre presented his new version of Miss Julie by August Strindberg, starring Maxine Peake. In July 2014 his play Holy Warriors played at Shakespeare's Globe.

David's screenplay for a ninety-minute single film, The Scandalous Lady W, based upon Hallie Rubenhold's book Lady Worsley's Whim, was broadcast on BBC2 in August 2015 starring Natalie Dormer and directed by Sheree Folkson.

In October 2017 The National Theatre presented the world premiere of his play Beginning in the Dorfman Theatre directed by Polly Findlay.[10] Beginning transferred from The National Theatre to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End, opening in January 2018 with both Sam Troughton and Justine Mitchell reprising their original roles. Beginning was revived for a tour starting at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, Essex in 2021. It became the first in his trilogy of plays about love and relationships for the National Theatre to be premièred in its Dorfman Theatre. The second, Middle, had its first performances rescheduled to start in April 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.[11]

Eldridge is currently lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.[12] He also teaches screenwriting for the Arvon Foundation.[13]




  • Plays: One (Serving It Up/Summer Begins/Under the Blue Sky/M.A.D) (Methuen, 2005) ISBN 0-413-77509-7
  • Plays: Two (Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness/Market Boy/The Knot of the Heart/The Stock Da'wa) (Methuen, 2012) ISBN 978-1-4081-6483-9
  • Short Story: (A Whole New World) (Metheun)


  1. ^ "Playwright David Eldridge revisits his Essex roots". 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Playwright David Eldridge on his brilliant new play". 5 September 2011. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Playwright David Eldridge on new writing". 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  4. ^ "David Eldridge on Festen". 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  5. ^ "David Eldrdge on his career". 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Playwright David Eldridge goes Monsterist with Market Boy". 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Playwright David Eldridge on his West End hit". 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  8. ^ Matt Trueman, "Off West End awards: pub theatres given plenty to cheer", The Guardian, 2 February 2012.
  9. ^ Alex Needham, "Best theatre of 2012, no 1: In Basildon, Royal Court — David Eldridge's resonant and richly populated play put England's many postwar paradoxes on stage – and it was funny, too", The Guardian, 21 December 2012.
  10. ^ Beginning by David Eldridge, 5 Oct - 14 Nov 2017, National Theatre
  11. ^ "David Eldridge: 'Selling shoes on a Romford Market stall definitely fed into my plays'". The Stage. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  12. ^ "David Eldridge". Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing, Birkbeck, University of London. 3 June 2019.
  13. ^ "SCREENWRITING: TUTORED RETREAT - a course at Arvon - Arvon".

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