DIARY: Eldridge's Office fears revealed as Much Ado About Nothing, really.[

A message to all those cynics who believe that advertisers have no art in their souls - the playwright David Eldridge is about to prove you wrong. For the man has just completed a six-month stint as the TBWA/GGT Direct playwright-in-residence. And what is more, he's managed to coax short plays out of four GGT employees, to be staged at the Soho Theatre on 6 December.

According to Eldridge, the folk at GGT approached the task with, er, varying degrees of eagerness. "Some people you have to drag kicking and screaming through the six drafts, whereas others are turning out new versions every few days," he said. "Sometimes people give you the play you would expect but other times they don't. Of the seven plays written by staff at the agency, we have a black comedy set in a restaurant, a dark Yorkshire family drama and a feminist comedy set in a golf club, which was written by a man!"

What life at an agency would be like had apparently been worrying Eldridge, who was expecting it to resemble an episode of the Ricky Gervais sitcom, The Office. His fears were further compounded when a Gareth-like GGT staffer asked him if he wanted to go for "some beerage".

However, in the end things turned out just grand. Eldridge fitted into the agency so snugly that the whole experience has inspired him to write a play based on his experiences. Can we suggest Much Ado About Nothing?

And it's not just the staff at GGT who are set to display their abilities as wordsmiths in public. Felix Dennis, of Dennis Publishing, is holding a special poetry reading on 6 December, to benefit St Bride's - the journalists church in Fleet Street. Apparently, Dennis will be sharing his wine cellar and the St Bride's choir will be singing. How appropriately festive.


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