Search

‘Romford’s people and places are perfect for drama’ – local-born writer behind new play

PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 December 2014

Local boy: Dan Murphy (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Local boy: Dan Murphy (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

New York, Verona, St Petersburg... Romford: not a list you’ll regularly see, but thanks to the efforts of a young playwright an appropriate one.

Dan Murphy needs to raise £3,000 to take his play on tour (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) Dan Murphy needs to raise £3,000 to take his play on tour (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Romford-born writer Dan Murphy has written a play with Havering’s best-known district at its heart – and he hopes it’ll be an opportunity to put the area on the dramatic map.

“Romford is the inspiration for all of my work,” he says.

“Apart from my personal connection with the town, I believe that the people and places are perfect for drama as it is a town full of interesting people and great characters.

“It is also important to me to represent people on the stage who you might not usually see. I’m proud of being from Romford and I want to share it with as many people as possible.”

'I would love for the play to come to Havering' (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) 'I would love for the play to come to Havering' (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

The play is aptly titled A Local Boy and it follows five characters as they react to a violent crime on a night out in the town centre.

Dan describes it as a “dark funny and moving story about connections, community and our place within it”.

Romford, of course, is no stranger to violence – but that’s not the only source of local inspiration for the 28-year-old playwright.

“I hope that I’ve done Romford proud in the play. The town is as much a character as the people.

“I think I have given an honest and real representation of Romford.”

Dan goes on: “It’s a town that is ever growing and changing, but it’s community spirit and identity – that’s steadfast.

“What do I think of Romford? I am fiercely proud of the fact that it’s my hometown.”

The former pupil of Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch, also hopes part of the production’s draw will be the chance for the audience to spot familiar places and references.

But before that can happen, the theatre company behind needs to raise £3,000 to fund costs for a tour – and find a cast.

“We are currently casting for the production and if we could find actors from Havering that would be great,” says Dan. “The more authentic Essex accents on the stage the better.”

A Local Boy is the product of the Invertigo Theatre Company, where Dan is writer in residence and where identity is the topic of its most recent project. The play, Dan says, is a deliberate exploration of the theme.

“Through this I started thinking about community and the conflict between the identity of a community and the individuals within it,” he says.

“I was also inspired by how we react to violent or tragic crimes in the news, how a community can come together in adversity, but also fall apart.”

The show begins its run at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington in February before touring schools, colleges and youth theatres in the south east, funds permitting.

It’s a play clearly intent on raising Romford’s theatrical profile – but will it get an airing in Dan’s home borough?

“I would love for the play to come to Havering, it is very important for me that people from Havering see that there is a voice and place for them in theatre,” he says.

To pledge support for the project, visit ideastap.com/crowdfunding/project/alocalboy. In return, donors can get tickets to the play, a signed script and the chance to sit in on rehearsals.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Rats swarming in and out of bin bags, roaming confidently across front gardens and gnawing their way through fences – that is what residents of one Rainham street have found themselves up against.

15:02

Fans can relive the unique musical talents of George Michael in a special tribute performance.

Havering’s councillors look set to brand Sadiq Khan’s increased housing targets for the borough “unacceptable, unachieveable and unsustainable” at a meeting later this month.

09:08

Medical failings stretching back more than two decades cost the NHS trust running Queen’s Hospital millions of pounds a year.

08:13

An outspoken teenager from Romford is looking for two young people from the borough with mental health issues to take part in some mentoring sessions.

Yesterday, 17:00

A small Romford charity is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a special ball.

Yesterday, 16:30

Rail staff have shown their support for Havering Samaritans’ bid to turn “Blue Monday” into “Brew Monday”, by encouraging people to get together for a cup of tea and a chat.

Yesterday, 15:00

Havering Council cabinet members are set to discuss a proposed £30million grant from the GLA to pay for more affordable housing in the borough over the next three years.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now