Thursday, October 6

Tag: Alan Bennett

Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: Soldiering On – BBC iPlayer
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Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: Soldiering On – BBC iPlayer

Alan Bennett's original Talking Heads was five filmed monologues shown in 1988. At the time they were received with great acclaim and featured prominent and respected actors of the era. A second series was produced in 1998 with five new monologues and was again much lauded. Harriet Walter is faultless in this remake of a classic monologue first filmed with actress Stephanie Cole. Walter’s performance is enough to convince the viewer that the events are happening now. We meet Muriel Carpenter describing the recent funeral of her husband, Ralph. Clearly, the couple were very well to do, living in an expensively furnished, beautiful home. Muriel is impeccably dressed (all tweed and pearls) and Ralph was very senior in Massey Ferguson. She is matter of fact when talking of the demise of...
Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: Playing Sandwiches – BBC iPlayer
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Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: Playing Sandwiches – BBC iPlayer

Alan Bennett's original Talking Heads was five filmed monologues shown in 1988. At the time they were received with great acclaim and featured prominent and respected actors of the era. A second series was produced in 1998 with five new monologues and was again much lauded. Now in 2020 and filmed during the lockdown adhering to all social distancing measures, the original ten plus two new pieces written by Bennett himself last year have been remade with a new generation of respected actors. Some are better known that others, but all have the experience to make each monologue their own rather than a rehash of the original. Talking Head 5 is Playing Sandwiches. Originally filmed with David Haig in 1998, now it features the wonderful Lucian Msamati as park worker Wilfred Paterson. ...
Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: An Ordinary Woman – BBC iPlayer
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Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: An Ordinary Woman – BBC iPlayer

In 1988 the BBC released the first six short Talking Heads monologue plays written by Alan Bennett. After their first outing on BBC1 they were adapted for radio and in 1991 were broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The second series was released for BBC2 in 1998 so thirty-two years on we will see if they stand the test of time. Sarah Lancashire takes on this disturbing tale which was not part of the original set of plays. Gwen has a daughter Maureen and her 15-year-old son Michael. From the beginning this play is a difficult watch as it focuses on a mother who is obsessed with her son, but not in the molly coddling way mothers can annoy their kids with; she admits that she fancies him! Shocker within the first few minutes sets the tone for the rest of the monologue. She likes to look at her son’s...
Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: A Lady of Letters – BBC iPlayer
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Talking Heads by Alan Bennett: A Lady of Letters – BBC iPlayer

In 1988 the BBC released the first six short Talking Heads monologue plays written by Alan Bennett. After their first outing on BBC1 they were adapted for radio and in 1991 were broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The second series was released for BBC2 in 1998 so thirty-two years on we will see if they stand the test of time. Originally performed by Patricia Routledge, Imelda Staunton has taken up the mantle in this re-make. Produced by Nicholas Hytner and Kevin Loader, the first scene is set in Irene Ruddock’s front room with the quintessentially British net curtains, which you can imagine are regularly twitching. Irene Ruddock or Miss Ruddock (no-one has called me Irene since my mother died), as she prefers to be called; is your typical nosy parker, poking her nose into the lives of others. W...