After nearly three decades of uninterrupted success in the fields of satire (Beyond the Fringe), theatre (40 Years On), TV dramas (An Englishman Abroad) and film (A Private Function), Alan Bennett broke new dramatic ground when this series of monologues appeared on BBC TV in 1988.
Such was their popularity that they have since moved on to BBC radio, international theatre and even the A-level syllabus. They have also become one of the bestselling audio book releases of all time.
Each tale gives us privileged access to the innermost thoughts of an individual, who, although we only hear his/her side of the story, frequently reveals more about him/herself than intended.
The stories are poignant, sometimes sad, occasionally uplifting, and they all showcase Alan Bennett’s powers of observation, comic timing and exquisite turn of phrase.
12th – 15th September 2007
Revived due to popular demand
Talking Heads by Alan Bennett
directed by Paul Hannon
with the original cast Maureen McConnell, Blair Earl and Steve Armstrong.
Put the date in your diary
DBS Arts Centre ~ Home of the SRT
Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright, essayist, and storywriter, whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the author of The Clothes They Stood Up In, The Laying On of Hands, and Writing Home. He lives in London.
Description: Alan Bennett’s award-winning series of solo pieces is a classic of contemporary drama, universally hailed for its combination of razor-sharp wit and deeply felt humanity. In Bed Among the Lentils, a vicar’s wife discovers a semblance of happiness with an Indian shop owner. In A Chip in the Sugar, a man’s life begins to unravel when he discovers his aging mother has rekindled an old flame. In A Lady of Letters, a busybody pays a price for interfering in her neighbor’s life.
First produced for BBC television in 1988 to great critical acclaim, the Talking Heads monologues also appeared on the West End Stage in London in 1992 and 1998. In 2002, seven of the pieces were performed at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles for a highly praised brief engagement, and in 2003 a selection of the monologues premiered in New York at the Minetta Lane Theatre. These extraordinary portraits of ordinary people confirm Alan Bennett’s place as one of the most gifted, versatile, and important writers in the English Language.
Praise for Complete Talking Heads
“Bennett’s genius is his ability to satirize humanely. [His] prose is like stained glass: if you stare at it, you see things you missed.”
– The New York Times Book Review
“In the hands of Alan Bennett, the tragic and painful are close bedfellow with the funny and the sexual….We laugh at the situations presented and then feel a twinge of guilt.”
– Los Angeles Times
“Few write sharper dialogue or probe more tellingly into the frailties and occasional strengths of the human psyche than Alan Bennett. No one knows more about getting each scene just right or as consistently.”
– William Trevor
“Bennett’s genius is for the imploding situation in which a cleverly made house of cards shudders and comes down; the comments of his characters as they nimbly pick their way around the wreckage verge on aphorism.”
– The New Yorker