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.
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?
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.
A love letter to the NHS, masterfully written by Alan Bennett with lots of lovely touches – the 25-strong cast is impressive and really brings the play to life.
Alan Bennett has perhaps by chance hit two topical news hot-potatoes – barely a week old – even while deliberately tackling more obvious fave targets like NHS cuts and the Thatcher legacy.