China Plate present

Trying it On

David Edgar’s first solo performance, which will dramatise how our young selves might – and our old selves do – relate to each other. 

Written and performed by David Edgar




“Are we the same person? If not, when and why not? If so, can either of us bear it?”

In conversation with his past, David Edgar draws on autobiographical material and interviews to create a play in which his 20-year-old self will confront his 70-year-old self, and visa versa.

It’s 1968, David is 20 and in his 2nd year at Manchester University. In that year Lyndon Johnson withdraws from the US presidential race, the Tet offensive is mounted in Vietnam, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy are assassinated, Enoch Powell delivers his ‘rivers of blood’ speech, the Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia and theatre censorship is abolished in Britain. These events defined David’s politics and provided a mission for his plays.

It’s 2018 (well soon to be) and 50 years since that momentous year. David is looking back on it and on himself. Has he retained the essentials of what he believed then? If not, is it the world that’s changed, or him? What would the young playwright make of Margaret Thatcher, the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 and the EU referendum? (After all, he voted No in 1975). What of what he thought and felt then has stayed true? Has he sold in or sold out?

Having challenged dramatic form throughout his career, David now takes on the solo show.

Directed by Christopher Haydon Trying It On will be David Edgar’s first solo performance (well, largely), which will dramatise how our young selves might – and our old selves do – relate to each other.