alphabetical author index

Trying It On

  • David Edgar
  • Full Length Play, Drama, 1960s
  • 1M, 1F
  • ISBN: 9781848427327

David Edgar's Trying It On is an autobiographical monologue, written to be performed by its author.

  • Full Length Play
  • Drama

  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Target Audience: Adult
  • Set Requirements: Interior Set

  • Performance Group:
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
It's 1968. David is twenty. It is the height of the worldwide student revolt. The Vietnam war rages. Enoch Powell delivers his 'Rivers of Blood' speech. Martin Luther King is assassinated. These events will define David's politics and give focus to his writing.

It's fifty years on. The seventy-year-old is confronted by the twenty-year old. Do they share the same beliefs? If not, is it the world that's changed, or him?

David Edgar's Trying It On is an autobiographical monologue, written to be performed by its author.

It was first presented by Warwick Arts Centre and China Plate, touring the UK in 2018, including performances at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Midlands Arts Centre and at the Royal Court Theatre, London – as well as at the Royal Shakespeare Company, alongside the RSC's revival of Edgar's landmark play Maydays.


"Masterful in its rug-pulling structure, what has begun as a eulogy to the good old days and the achievements of Edgar's life becomes an elegant statement that all of this means nothing unless you can and are willing to pass on responsibility with a sense of generational harmony."


"Formally inventive… thought-provoking, self-aware and pin-sharp, Edgar delivers a personal and political play that's more radical than his 20-year-old firebrand self could ever imagine."

 Fest Magazine

"Entertaining... a wry, often magnificently withering analysis of [Edgar's] younger years... a very good piece of docu-theatre."

 Time Out

"A thoughtful, self-questioning play of ceaseless invention."

 The Skinny

"Optimistically refreshing... heartful, hopeful and humorous."

 The Reviews Hub

"Trying It On challenges us all to question our beliefs: how they originate, how they are influenced by external factors, and whether age really does mellow us."


"Energised with humour and humility."

 The Stage

"Witty, but never cynical… as charming as it is challenging."

 The Times

"A triumph of confessional courage – and relentless optimism."

 The Guardian

Premiere Production: UK tour 2018.
  • Casting: 1M, 1F
  • Casting Notes: Trying It On is ostensibly a monologue play intended to be performed by the author, but also includes an essential, scripted role for an additional, female performer, as well as incorporating filmed segments containing dialogue.