Family drama In Basildon at Queen's Theatre will feature EastEnders star Lucy Benjamin
PUBLISHED: 15:06 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 14 February 2019
Lucy Benjamin, who is best known for playing Lisa Fowler in EastEnders, has been cast in the Queen's Theatre regional premiere of David Eldridge's In Basildon.
Written by the award-winning playwright, David Eldridge, In Basildon is being brought back to its roots after a 2012 premiere at the Royal Court Theatre.
Mr Eldridge said: “I come from a fairly ordinary blue-collar family – skilled working class, Collier Row – and I just felt that you don’t often see people like my family or my friends on stage very often.”
In Basildon tells the story of Len, a die-hard West Ham supporter who has proudly made a career at Fords of Dagenham.
Now he’s on his death bed with the nearest and dearest gathered to say goodbye.
His sisters, slogging away on the checkouts at Asda Romford and Tesco Basildon, haven’t spoken in 20 years.
Over a ham sandwich spread, the banter soon flows and old animosities emerge as it’s time to read the will.
Lucy Benjamin is returning to Queen’s Theatre for the play after she performed in Deadly Murder in the Hornchurch theatre in 2015.
She will be joined by Peter Bray, Patrick Driver, Emily Houghton, Beverley Klein, Peter Temple and Connie Walker.
Completing the cast are David Hemsted and Charlotte Law who were cast through the Queen’s Theatre’s open audition process to find local actors.
In Basildon launches the Queen’s Theatre’s Essex on Stage programme, a new two year programme that champions the positive notions of Essex, celebrating theatre made by working class people and raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex and outer east London.
Speaking about how this new production of In Basildon will reach local audiences, Mr Eldridge added: “Inevitably an audience in Hornchurch is going to know the world in a way that audiences in Chelsea don’t.
“The other thing that’s different now is the perspective of the last seven years.
“This was a pre-Brexit play that’s now being presented in a world that’s trying to deal with the consequences of that.”
In Basildon plays at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, March 14 to 30.
For tickets visit queens-theatre.co.uk.