I am fully content to hail Alan Bennett as a National Treasure, and while I enjoyed many aspects of Allelujah!, I still hoped for even better and a return to his form in, say, The Madness of George III.
I don’t use the word ‘hate’ often in this blog, because let’s be real I never truly hate being in a theatre, but I came very close to hating Allelujah! I’ve not had such a viscerally angry reaction to a play for a very long time.
In some ways, Allelujah! is perfectly symptomatic of the problem I have with the Bridge Theatre. Does London really need any new theatres, no matter how much people think they want interval madeleines?
Alan Bennett’s latest play has officially opened at the Bridge Theatre, the premiere production directed by Bennett’s frequent collaborator and Bridge artistic director Nicholas Hytner. Here, Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews….
The politics are an Old Labour and North London hybrid and, the hospital on stage is probably more fantasy than NHS reality. But when national treasures do something new, we should all rejoice. Allelujah, indeed.
Allelujah! is not a masterpiece, mainly because most of the characters are underdeveloped and there is too much going on, but it is extremely funny and it has something very urgent to say, and says it without compromise.