Renowned Alan Bennett show to come to Huntingdon

PUBLISHED: 11:28 09 July 2014

Ann Monk in A Cream Cracker Under the Settee.

Ann Monk in A Cream Cracker Under the Settee.

Archant

A popular series of dramatic monologues from a renowned British playwright will come to the Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon.

Famed for its subtlety and unique depiction of human nature, Alan Bennett’s collection Talking Heads has become one of the most celebrated theatrical works of the last few decades.

Huntingdon Drama Club has selected four of the monologues – A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, A Bed Among the Lentils, A Lady of Letters, and Soldiering On – to perform from July 17-19.

Ann Monk will take on A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, originally starring Dame Thora Hird. She plays Doris, an elderly woman who is obsessively tidy and suffers a fall while trying to clean up after her lackadaisical home help. Alone and vulnerable, she reminisces about her quiet, uneventful life.

Dame Maggie Smith’s iconic role as vicar’s wife Susan in A Bed Among the Lentils will be performed by Kelly Mason. Struggling with alcoholism and problems in her marriage, she embarks on an affair, learning something crucial about herself along the way.

Meanwhile, Jeanette Brown becomes Patricia Routledge’s famed Lady of Letters. Irene, a single, working class woman living near Bradford starts a campaign of letter-writing to everyone from the MP to her chemist to point out the social ills that she sees around her. Eventually, her actions lead to her being sent to prison, where she unexpectedly finds happiness.

In addition, audiences can see Ruth Pugh recreate Muriel from Soldiering On – which was first played by Stephanie Cole. She is a middle-class pillar of the community and remains strong in the face of adversity, looking after her mentally ill daughter and coping with her husband’s death. However, due to her son’s mismanagement of money and a family secret, Muriel is faced with her biggest personal challenge yet.

Bennett had his 80th birthday in May this year, and the club is celebrating its own 70th anniversary with productions of his work. The pieces are from the first series of Talking Heads, broadcast on BBC One in 1988.

The shows promise comedy, poignancy, and powerful drama as the cast delve into the minds of Bennett’s fascinating characters.

INFORMATION: Performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8 with £6 concessions on Thursday, or £9 with £7 concessions on Friday and Saturday from 0333 6663366, http://www.huntsdramaclub.ticketsource.co.uk, or on the door. For details about an offer for a discounted pre-theatre supper for ticketholders at Prima Restaurant in the High Street on Thursday, visit www.huntingdondramaclub.org.uk.

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