In 2009 David was first approached to play Edward Elgar in Stirring The Spirit, a music drama, at the ICA Theatre. His interpretation was received so favourably that he repeated it by request at several other venues.
Set in the South Bank Nursing Home in Worcester where Elgar is comforted by his nurse and daughter, Stirring The Spirit portrays Elgar at the end of his life, infirm, negelected, lonely and vulnerable. Much of the script is taken from Elgar’s own correspondence, so the audience hears his actual words.
“David Graham stars as Elgar, powerfully bringing the composer to life. In the last few months before his death, Elgar looks back on his life, in the company of his daughter, and a favoured nurse, both portrayed excellently by Pippa Rathbone.
Music is a key part of the play, and is played with touching tenderness live on stage by the musicians of the Locrian Ensemble. As well as making the experience of Elgar the composer all the more tangible, the sweeping chords add passion and optimism in a perfect balance to the by turns mischievous or grumpy nature of Elgar.”
JANE WILD, Camden New Journal