'People always get the wrong idea about Essex don't they?'Len's on his death bed and the family gather to say their final farewells. His sisters still aren't speaking after nearly 20 years, his nephew's trying for a baby - and a bigger house, while his best mate Ken remembers 'Bas-vegas' when it was a village. As the spread is laid out and the ham sandwiches sit next to the wreaths, it's hard to see who's hungry and who's just greedy. In Basildon is full of explosive family dynamics and knotty relationships, embracing history, emotion and a strong sense of homeland. This depiction of indigenous Essex dwellers is uncompromising and at times harsh, but Eldridge also elicits deep sympathy for his characters as they face death, grief and crumbling familial bonds. The play is an epic family drama exploring inheritance and the myth of place.
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