White Stiletto Dreams

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20120718

Romford Market was vibrant in the 1980s. Now it is struggling to survive - 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 Market Boy, a play about Romford that premiered at the National Theatre. 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.

Producers: Cathy FitzGerald and Matt Thompson

A Rockethouse production for BBC Radio 4.