Katie Mccullough Talks and Writes

Words will get written here and some videoblogs will appear. You don't have to look but it would be nice if you did.

Market Boy April 9, 2009

Filed under: London,theatre,Theatre and writing — katiemccullough @ 12:38 pm


Market Boy

So today found me waking up late because I’m suffering from a virus which has made the right hand side of my body go weak… which ultimately means that when I wake up in the morning knowing that I’ve already told my job that I’m not going in: my body goes into complete shutdown.  This resulted in wildly over-sleeping and being coaxed out of bed by a cup of tea which for once would not be made by my own hands.

So forcing myself to have some quiet time I opened my post which included, “Baghdad Wedding” which is one of my homeworks to read before next class and my own copy of, “Me And You And Everyone We Know” on DVD.  I also went overboard and ordered the soundtrack too.  I liked the music, so shoot me.

My other homework was to read, “Market Boy” by fashionable man of the moment David Eldridge.  The play is set in Romford Market between the mid-eighties to the early nineties and has an impressive cast list of over fifty roles.  Just reading it you get the sense of urgency and energy Eldridge wants to exclaim.  At first I thought the constant repeating of several lines and the echoes of each stall helper was tedious and slowed my reading but as the scenes came and went I realised that this was the atmosphere of the bustling market.  He really hones in on the lifestyle and self-importance of each stall holder.  From the slang to the gusto each character is laid bare in a few moments and choice words and it’s energetic till the last line.  

What I admired about this play is the fact that every character has their position and runs with it.  Like strolling through the market you can’t move for people trying to sell you items you don’t necessarily need but because they’re the right price you snap up like no ones business.  There are times, such as the BOY making his first sale or his losing his cherry, where the sense of market trader unity shines through as they all cheer and holler.  I can imagine this story being so sturdy on the stage with room for an impressive set as the tale rarely moves that far from the market place from the word go.

It has it all, a large arena for a strong cast to play around with, the underlying but physically present morals of Thatcher (she’s represented with a fanfare and as the heiress of the market place) and the soundtrack to instantly place you in the moment you need to be.  Some might say the overuse of music is tacky or too blatant, but whether it floats your boat or not I found it thrilling that the action is always moving whether it be the dialogue or the music.  Written in 2006 it strikes me as a play that has more relevance to the financial crisis of today making it an accessible piece for an audience to engage in.

My only gripe is perhaps the last scene.  I found it too neat and presumptuous almost on the audience’s behalf.  Without wanting to spoil it too much for those who haven’t/will go read it; it’s a round up.  But for me it begs the question of why? Set in the time it is we don’t really have a need for a line to be drawn under the message.  For me it almost demotes what you’ve just seen to a whimsical pantomime.


2 Responses to “Market Boy”

  1. David Eldridge Says:

    Yeah the last scene didn’t work and we cut it after the first preview. Roll on the publication of Eldridge Plays 2 so I can publish a text which accurately reflects the finished play!

    Good luck with your writing.

    • Crikey Mister Eldridge, didn’t expect a reply at all let alone from the playwright himself! Many thanks for taking time to read my blog. I really enjoyed immersing myself in “Market Boy” and wish I could have seen it when it was on… alas I still got the vibe upon reading it. Thanks for the luck and here’s to the anticipation of the second publication.

      (This may be rather delayed as I’m still getting used to wordpress malarkey).

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