White Stiletto Dreams - BBC Radio 4 -
TX 18 July 2012


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Romford Market in the ‘80s was loud and bawdy… the wild west with Essex accents. Now it’s dying. Essex Girl Cathy FitzGerald returns to celebrate the ebullient market that was.
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Romford Market was vibrant in the 1980s. Now it is dying, a victim of supermarkets and cut-price stores. Presenter Cathy FitzGerald bought her first – and last – pair of white stilettos in the market as a teenager. David Eldridge worked on the shoe stall. He’s now one of Britain’s leading playwrights, with credits that include In Basildon at the Royal Court and a play about Romford that premiered at the National Theatre: Market Boy. Selling espadrilles isn’t obvious training for a playwright, but in the 1980s the market was a stage. There were the characters: the Fruit & Veg Man, the Leather Boys, and the Lampshade Man. And the dialogue – bantering with the customers was rude, funny, and definitely an art. Cathy and David return to Romford to weigh up what’s been lost… and see if the stiletto still fits.

Cathy FitzGerald - Presenter
David Eldridge - Playwright
Gary McDonald - Actor
Valerie King – Fruit and Veg
Trevor Boothe – Shoe Stall
Tony Luscombe - Auctioneer
Book Stall Ladies
Burger Van Girl
Bill Handley – Market Toby
Woman buying Cherries
Market Callers
Butcher Selling Meat
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