mon 15/04/2024

Alan Bennett

Betty Blue Eyes, Union Theatre review - musical revival pigs out on nostalgia

People can’t find the food they want in the shops. Nobody has enough money. Public services are under pressure. And there’s a big Royal occasion to take our minds off things.England 2023? Nah, England 1947, as rationing applies to meat and fruit...

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Allelujah review - Alan Bennett put through the blender

I'm proffering just a tad less than three cheers for Allelujah, the film version of Alan Bennett's 2018 Bridge Theatre play that is also that rare screen adaptation of Bennett not to be shepherded to celluloid by his longtime friend and collaborator...

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London Film Festival 2022 - the winners and the losers

The London Film Festival ended with the announcement of assorted prizes, all well-deserved. My colleague Demetrios Matheou has already written here about the Chilean political thriller, 1976, which won Best First Feature, and we’ll be writing...

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Habeas Corpus, Menier Chocolate Factory review - grappling with Alan Bennett's anti-farce

In his 1973 play Habeas Corpus, now revived at the Menier Chocolate Factory under the direction of Patrick Marber, Alan Bennett had his way with the venerable Whitehall farce. Today’s younger playgoer would probably marvel at the popularity of these...

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Best of 2020: Theatre

"Goodbye": The single word lingered heavily in the air last March 16, as the scripted closing both of the terrific Southwark Playhouse revival of The Last Five Years and as an ancillary farewell to live theatre. Late afternoon on that same day, in...

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Nights in the Garden of Spain & Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet, Bridge Theatre review - potent mix of pain and comedy

Stillness works like a stealth bomb in Nights in the Garden of Spain, in which Tamsin Greig further confirms her status as one of this country's finest actresses. Kicking off the final pairing in an indispensable series of Alan Bennett double bills...

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Playing Sandwiches & A Lady of Letters, Bridge Theatre review - the darkness dazzles, twice over

"Getting dark," or so comments Irene Ruddock (a pitch-perfect Imelda Staunton) in passing midway through A Lady of Letters, and, boy, ain't that the truth? Both this monologue, and the one that precedes it (Playing Sandwiches, featuring the mighty...

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The Shrine & Bed Among the Lentils, Bridge Theatre review - loneliness shared, with wit and melancholy

Monologues and duets rule the stage right now. We can only dream of the day when theatre steps up to the classical music scene’s boldness and manages to have more performers gathered together, albeit suitably distanced (not so easy when the drama...

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Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, BBC One review - still lives run deep

The eyes have it in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, which is in no way to discount this venerable writer's gift for words. Time and again in this vaunted series of dramatic solos, ten of which have now been remade alongside two new ones, a character...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 9: Alan Bennett revisited, and so is Oz

The government may occupy shifting sands when it comes to handling Covid-19, but the arts thank heavens continue to step up to the plate with a dizzying array of online options. This week's output mixes a soul musical from 1970s Broadway alongside a...

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The Lehman Trilogy, Piccadilly Theatre review - stunning chronicle of determination and dollars

Mammon and Yahweh are the presiding deities over an epic enterprise that tells the story not just of three brothers who founded a bank but of modern America. Virgil asked his Muse to sing of ‘arms and the man’, yet here the theme becomes that of ‘...

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Allelujah!, Bridge Theatre review - hilarious but dark, darker, darkest

The NHS is us. For decades our national identity has been bandaged together with the idea, and reality, of a health service that is free at the point of delivery. Such an object of myth and pride cries out for comic treatment, and now the spritely...

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