Saturday, October 1

Tag: Kevin Loader

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads: The Outside Dog – BBC iPlayer
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Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads: The Outside Dog – BBC iPlayer

One of the strong suites Alan Bennett has always had is his ability to write convincingly for women. The sort of women a boy from a respectable middle-class Leeds family would have known growing up. When he put these women into his writing they attracted the great and good of acting to portray them. Dames Julie, Thora and Patricia are the ones which spring immediately to mind. They are synonymous with the piece. It is therefore interesting to revisit the work with new faces in the frame. I have seen some of his “Talking Heads” presented with new faces on stage, but we are currently being treated with television presentations, so comparisons are inevitable. It is a testament to the skill of Rochenda Sandall that thoughts of Julie Walters (the original Marjory) are thrown out of the wind...
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...