Joe Orton had been dead six years when Alan Bennett’s 1973 Habeas Corpus made its West End debut in a production starring Sir Alec Guinness.
‘This revival can’t help but resemble a middling 1970s sitcom’: HABEAS CORPUS – Menier Chocolate Factory
Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus gets a belated revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Stuck in the past, should it have been left in the past too?
Looking back on the last two plague years: Part 1, The Onset
I set out to chronicle and celebrate the return of live theatre since May 2021. And this will follow. But when I totted up the 2021 score – 60 theatre nights, 30 being completely new plays and 19 brand-new productions – it seemed to me only decent to pause, look back at the year before.
‘For Alan Bennett fans such as myself, it is a real treat’: HABEAS CORPUS – Menier Chocolate Factory ★★★★
In 1973 when Habeas Corpus was first staged, it reflected attitudes and behaviour indicative of its time.
‘Marking out just how powerful digital theatre can be’: Still Life: Untold Stories of Nottingham Now – Nottingham Playhouse (Online review)
Julie Hesmondhalgh and Frances De La Tour, among others, star in the heartbreakingly excellent Still Life: Untold Stories of Nottingham Now.
NEWS: Bridge Theatre extends season as Talking Heads shows visit Sheffield & Leeds
Additional performances have gone on sale for David Hare’s Beat the Devil and Inua Ellams’ and Fuel’s production of An Evening with an Immigrant, the one-person plays at London’s Bridge Theatre now extended until 7 November 2020.
‘Hytner has envisaged both stories with considerable care’: THE SHRINE / BED AMONG THE LENTILS – Bridge Theatre
The Bridge Theatre’s most savvy decision is in teaming The Shrine with Bed Among the Lentils, placing together two of our finest actors who effortless and regularly transition between stage and screen – Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville.
NEWS: Bridge Theatre announces plans to reopen with star-studded rep season
London Theatre Company has announced its repertoire plans to reopen the Bridge Theatre during September and October 2020, “assuming that the Government gives the go ahead for indoor performances with socially distanced audiences”.
‘Mark Gatiss’ mesmerising acting dominates the play’: THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III – Nottingham Playhouse (Online review)
Alan Bennett writes that “I’ve always had a soft spot for George III”, for no better reason than that he had studied the monarch’s reign at secondary school and then again at uni.
‘A towering central performance by Mark Gatiss’: THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III – Nottingham Playhouse (Online review)
An excellent production of a modern classic with a towering central performance: Alan Bennett’s early 1990s play examines public versus private monarchical concerns at the end of the 18th century in the latest stream from National Theatre At Home.
‘Matthew Kelly & David Yelland are more than a match for each other’: A HABIT OF ART – Original Theatre (Online review)
Original Theatre’s touring production of The Habit of Art was one I missed in 2018. It was due to return this year, but circumstances being as they are, here is a streamed version available to purchase for a small donation.
NEWS: Nicholas Hytner remakes Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads during lockdown
Filming has begun on new productions of Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning Talking Heads monologues, to be broadcast on BBC One with an all-star cast.
NEWS: Online videos of Original Theatre Company’s The Habit of Art and The Croft to be released
In light of the closure of theatres across the UK due to COVID-19, the Original Theatre Company’s productions of Alan Bennett’s The Habit Of Art and Ali Milles’ The Croft, both of which were touring the UK, will now each have an online launch performance.
NEWS: The Habit of Art starring Matthew Kelly will be filmed in a closed performance for download
In light of the most recent government advice due to COVID-19, The Original Theatre Company’s production of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, which was due to open at Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne on 18 March 2020, will now perform a closed filmed performance on the same day 2pm.
‘This cast gives a masterclass in drama’: HISTORY BOYS – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre ★★★★★
History Boys is long overdue a revival and the production (which has been meticulously directed by the hugely talented Jack Ryder) is a treat indeed.
NEWS: Menier Chocolate Factory announces its spring season for 2020
The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced the forthcoming two productions – the European premiere of Paula Vogel’s Tony Award-winning play Indecent, directed by Rebecca Taichman; and Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus directed by Patrick Marber, who returns to the Menier following his hit production of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties.
FROM DOWN UNDER: Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Lady in the Van review
Melbourne Theatre Company begins the new year with a showcase for revered actress Miriam Margolyes who takes on the cantankerous title character in Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van.
‘You gain in a proximity to the action denied even to the front row’: NT Live screening – The Madness of King George III
The revival of Alan Bennett’s 1991 classic The Madness of King George III at Nottingham Playhouse couldn’t then be more relevant, a play that speaks to our interest in the people who govern us as well as concerns about fitness to rule, mental health and its treatment.
‘Mark Gatiss gives a remarkably touching performance’: THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III – Touring
The Madness of George III offers a great part for an actor, one which Mark Gatiss relishes. His vocal and physical tics are memorable, while never reducing mental illness to a series of quirks.
‘Witty, insightful, knowledgeable’: THE HABIT OF ART – Touring ★★★★
Alan Bennett’s The Habit Of Art has returned to its meta-spiritual home this week, arriving at the Oxford Playhouse to amuse and entertain its erudite audience with in-jokes about the city’s gay scene and penises.