Doris and Doreen are comfortably installed in an obscure department of a large organization. On a normal day they keep busy by flirting with nice Mr Tidmarsh in Appointments or pursuing their feud over a plug with Mr Cunliffe in Personnel. This is not a normal day. Someone has an eye on them and a shadow is falling across their tranquil lives. Are they about to be fired?
A Visit From Miss Prothero
Mr Dodsworth has recently retired. Sitting at home, he is contemplating his life and achievements with quiet satisfaction. There is a sharp ring at the door. His former secretary has come to ruin it all. Ironic wit and compassion mark this touchingly real story.
Characters: 9 males, 5 females
Scenery: Various sets
Alan Bennett draws from his memoirs to offer a dramatized account of the genteel vagrant, Miss Shepard, who parked her van in his driveway for fifteen years. Maggie Smith starred in London's West End.
"A wonderfully bittersweet comic diary of the years in which a lethally dotty and very smelly old bat parked her unroadworthy vehicle in Bennett's Camden garden, thereby providing him with roughly equal amounts of good journalistic copy and guilty landlord irritation." -Spectator
"Hilarious...A consistently enjoyable entertainment." -The New York Times
"Without doubt, the best new play of the year." -Daily Telegraph
"Bennett's writing is nimble, ironical, cruel and humane...Gives the West End one of its saddest, funniest, and most distinguished offerings for years." -London Times
Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, "Death in Venice," seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W. H. Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first in twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, among others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station.
Alan Bennett's new play is as much about the theater as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion's spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.
From one of England's most celebrated writers, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of readingWhen her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.
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