Like everything Bennett does, these stories are playful, witty and painfully observant of ordinary people's foibles. They all have brilliant twists, are immensely entertaining and highly moral. And all are modern classics. The Laying on of Hands The painfully observant account of a memorial service for a masseur to the famous. The Clothes They Stood Up In The comic tale of an elderly couple's trials after their flat is stripped completely bare. Father! Father! Burning Bright The savage satire on the family of a dying man who rules over them from his hospital bed. The Lady in the Van The true story of the eccentric old woman who is invited to live in a homeowner's front garden. She stays there, in her van, for fifteen years. The home is Alan Bennett's. It became a West End hit, starring Maggie Smith.
Alan Bennett's first collection of prose since Writing Home takes in all his major writings over the last ten years. The title piece is a poignant family memoir with an account of the marriage of his parents, the lives and deaths of his aunts and the uncovering of a long-held family secret. Bennett, as always, is both amusing and poignant, whether he's discussing his modest childhood or his work with the likes of Maggie Smith, Thora Hird and John Gielgud. Also included are his much celebrated diaries for the years 1996 to 2004. At times heartrending and at others extremely funny,Untold Stories is a matchless and unforgettable anthology. Since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s Alan Bennett has delighted audiences worldwide with his gentle humour and wry observations about life. His many works include Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, Talking Heads, A Question of Attribution and The Madness of King George. The History Boys opened to great acclaim at the National in 2004, and is winner of the Evening Standard Award, the South Bank Award and the Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play. 'Perhaps the best loved of English writers alive today.' Sunday Telegraph Untold Stories is published jointly with Profile Books.
'Thinking Betty was in the bath Graham was watching a late-night programme on Channel 4 called Footballers with Their Shirts Off when she unexpectedly came in on the trail of the hairdryer. "I didn't know you were interested in football," said Betty.' No one must ever find out that Graham is 'not the marrying sort'. Certainly not his wife, or his mother. As sex, blackmail and fanatical tidiness take over the West Yorkshire parish of Alwoodley, an unlikely caper unfolds.
In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett's garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years. This account of those years was first published in 1989 in the London Review of Books. The play premiered in 1999, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Dame Maggie Smith, who reprise their roles in this new film adaptation. Shot on location at Bennett's house, Alex Jennings plays the author, alongside household names including Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent and Dominic Cooper.
The Shielding of Mrs Forbes Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother, who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. Though her own husband isn't all that satisfactory either. Still, this is Alan Bennett, so what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately more true to people's predilections. The Greening of Mrs Donaldson Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating...
The first ever collection in paperback of Alan Bennett's fiction - published in the year when he has been given the British Book Lifetime Achievement Award Here are Alan Bennett's hugely admired, triumphantly reviewed and bestselling novellas, brought together in one book for the first time: Father! Father! Burning Bright, the savage satire on a dying man's family reaction as he still asserts control over them from the hospital bed. Over 60,000 sold in small format. The Clothes They Stood Up In, has sold over 200,000 copies as a small novella and was 14 weeks in the Bestseller lists. It is the painful story of what happens to an elderly couple when their flat is stripped completely bare. The Laying on of Hands, a memorial service for a masseur to the famous that goes horribly wrong. Over 100,000 copies sold as a novella. Like everything Alan Bennett does, these stories are playful, witty and painfully observant of ordinary people's foibles. And they all have a brilliant and surprising twist; are immensely funny and profoundly moral.
Clive Dunlop was a masseur of exceptional talents. His 'services' were much in demand amongst the great and the good and after his untimely death at the age of 34 they -- the film stars and politicians, the writers and publishers, the TV pundits and celebrity chefs -- are gathered for his memorial service. The conduct of the service is a great worry for the priest taking the service, but it proves to be a test for the congregation. This is Alan Bennett at his absolute best with an exceptional satire. It is a perfect work of fiction but it will give readers the extra frisson of pleasure of identifying many of the characters, including even the masseur. This is a small masterpiece.
The screenplay edition of the major motion picture adaptation, starring Maggie Smith, of Alan Bennett's acclaimed story "The Lady in the Van" From acclaimed author and playwright Alan Bennett, whose smash hit The History Boys won a Tony Award for Best Play, comes the screenplay of The Lady in the Van-soon to be a major motion picture starring Dame Maggie Smith. The Lady in the Van is the true story of Bennett's experiences with an eccentric homeless woman, Miss Mary Shepherd, whom he befriended in the 1970s and allowed to temporarily park her van in front of his Camden home. She ended up staying there for fifteen years, resulting in an uncommon, often infuriating, and always highly entertaining friendship of a lifetime for the author. Read the screenplay of the film destined to be among the most talked about of the year, and discover the unbelievable story of one of the most unlikely-yet heartwarmingly real-relationships in modern literature.
Alan Bennett is perhaps best known in the UK for the BBC production of his Talking Heads TV plays, while the rest of the world may recognize him for the film adaptation of his play, The Madness of King George. O'Mealy points out that Bennett is a social critic strongly influenced by Beckett and Swift, interested in depicting and analyzing the role playing of everyday life, a'la sociologist Ervin Goffman.