David Edgar's Trying It On is an autobiographical play, written to be performed by its author. It was first performed at Warwick Arts Centre on 7 June 2018, at the beginning of a tour which included dates at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre; the Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham; the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Other Place Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon; and the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London. It was commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre and produced by China Plate theatre studio.
The play is performed on a set designed to look like a study, full of clutter, with a stage manager’s table to the side. David addresses the audience directly, reflecting on the journey he's taken from the twenty-year-old of 1968, experiencing worldwide student revolt and being immersed in radical politics, to the seventy-year-old of today. He wants to know if those two Davids share the same beliefs, and if not, whether it is the world that’s changed, or him. He conducts straw polls to find out the audience's position on certain topics. He presents video testimony from several authors and political commentators. And as his delves deeper into his own history, and the apparently deepening rift between generations today, the Stage Manager, a young woman called Danni, steps in to challenge his perspective.
The premiere production was directed by Christopher Haydon and designed by Frankie Bradshaw, with David Edgar performing as himself, and Danielle Phillips as the Stage Manager.