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Browse audiobooks by Alan Bennett, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
A BBC Radio 4 full-cast production of one of the earliest plays by Alan Bennett The 1970s are a time of change, but Labour MP George Oliver feels stuck in one place: distrusting the 'mawkish mentality' of the young and fearing the encroaching life of the middle-aged, with little to look forward to but the imminent end of a not-very-interesting road. Ten years into his second marriage, he is world-weary and dissatisfied with his social position and the public he deals with on a regular basis ('He's a socialist, but he doesn't like people' observes his wife Polly). In his self-absorption, he cannot see that his wife is having an affair, his mother-in-law is dying and his friends and neighbours regard him as a joke. With his trademark wry observational humour, Alan Bennett renders his plight at once poignant and comic. This bittersweet drama won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of 1971, and was described by the Sunday Times as 'a small jewel of bewilderment and regret'. Keith Barron stars as George in this radio adaptation, with a supporting cast including David Rintoul, Emily Richard and Margaret CourtenayShow more
Alan Bennett reads the latest instalment of his diaries, as heard on BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Following on from Alan Bennett's bestselling, award-winning prose collections Writing Home and Untold Stories, Keeping On Keeping On is a third anthology featuring his unique observations, recollections and reminiscences. At its heart is his latest published collection of diaries. In these entries, covering the years 2005 to 2014, Bennett looks back on a packed decade that included writing four highly-acclaimed plays – The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, all of which premiered at the National Theatre – as well as the screenplays for the hit films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. In addition, he reflects on his 25 years of friendship and collaboration with director Nicholas Hytner, life with his partner Rupert Thomas and, radical views notwithstanding, his status as ‘kindly, cosy and essentially harmless’. Packed with perceptive impressions of people and places, sharp social commentary, expressive description and delightful jokes, this irresistible record of life according to Alan Bennett is a treasury of wisdom and insight. Duration: 2 hours 20 mins approx.Show more
A unique collection of eight Alan Bennett stories, read by the author. Alan Bennett is one of Britain's best-loved authors and an acclaimed storyteller. This exclusive compilation includes eight of his best tales, collected together for the first time. Here is his celebrated, iconic memoir The Lady in the Van; as well as two fascinating autobiographical accounts of his family and childhood. Uncle Clarence sees Bennett visiting the grave of a relative who died in Flanders in 1917; while in Hymn he joins forces with composer George Fenton and the Medici String Quartet to explore his musical memories. Bennett's incisive, acute observations shine through in his fiction too, with wry, moving and darkly humorous meditations on death (Father! Father! Burning Bright and The Laying On of Hands), sex (The Shielding of Mrs Forbes) and middle-age ennui (The Clothes They Stood Up In). His gift for affectionate satire reaches its pinnacle in The Uncommon Reader, a delightful tale in which the Queen discovers the pleasures of literature. Poignant, compassionate, wise and witty, the stories included are The Lady in the Van, Uncle Clarence, The Clothes They Stood Up In, Father! Father! Burning Bright, Hymn, The Laying On of Hands, The Uncommon Reader and The Shielding of Mrs Forbes. Duration: 13 hours approx.Show more
A unique collection of twelve full-cast BBC Radio productions of plays by Alan Bennett. The titles are Forty Years On ; A Visit from Miss Prothero ; Say Something Happened ; Kafka’s Dick ; Two in Torquay ; The Madness of George III ; The History Boys ; An Englishman Abroad; A Question of Attribution; The Lady in the Van ; Cocktail Sticks and The Last of the Sun. The cast includes John Gielgud, Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Judi Dench, Thora Hird, Alex Jennings and many more. Duration: 15 hours approxShow more
Maggie Smith stars in this BBC radio adaptation of Alan Bennett's highly acclaimed autobiographical stage playAn eccentric old lady moves into a quiet street in Camden Town. There she remains, installed in her van in glorious self-sufficiency, until the council instructs her to move on. Then a kind homeowner invites her to move her van into his garden where she stays for the next fifteen years. This is the fascinating story of the genteel vagrant who found a unique place in Alan Bennett's life and writing.But the drama is as much about the author himself as Miss Shepherd. Why did Alan Bennett let her commandeer his driveway? Was he acting out of kindness, weakness, or hidden guilt over not spending enough time with his own mother? Did he always subconsciously plan to exploit Miss Shepherd for literary profit? Thought-provoking and moving, The Lady in the Van tackles profound questions about social responsibility, homelessness and mental illness with a lightness of touch characteristic of Bennett the master storyteller.With a full cast including Adrian Scarborough, Marcia Warren and Alan Bennett, this bitter-sweet comic tale stars Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd.Now a major BBC feature film, starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings.Show more
The complete audio collection of Alan Bennett's celebrated monologues, published together for the first time and performed by some of Britain's best actorsThe Talking Heads monologues are widely regarded as one of Alan Bennett's finest dramatic achievements. First broadcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 4 in the 1980s and 1990s, they won a host of awards and huge popular acclaim, and remain among his most admired works today.This collection includes all twelve Talking Heads, plus the precursor of that series, A Woman of No Importance. Beautifully crafted and full of compassion and wry observation, each tale is ripe with the quirky, insightful detail that has become Bennett's trademark. The monologues are:A Woman of No Importance (Patricia Routledge); A Chip in the Sugar (Alan Bennett); A Lady of Letters (Patricia Routledge); Bed Among the Lentils (Anna Massey); Soldiering On (Stephanie Cole); Her Big Chance (Julie Walters); A Cream Cracker Under the Settee (ThoraHird); Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet (Patricia Routledge); The Hand of God (Eileen Atkins); Playing Sandwiches (David Haig); The Outside Dog (Julie Walters); Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Penelope Wilton) and Waiting for the Telegram (Thora Hird).Intensely moving, deeply engrossing and highly entertaining, these spellbinding soliloquies are essential listening.Show more
A radio adaptation of Alan Bennett's short autobiographical play, originally directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre. Alan looks back on his early life with affection and sadness, revisiting some of the themes and conversations of his memoir 'A Life Like other People's'. Both he and his mother are seduced by the idea that other people's lives are much richer and fulfilling than their own. But when they do, finally, have cocktail parties, they are not at all what his mother would have envisaged.... Alan is played by Alex Jennings and Alan Bennett, supported by the original National theatre cast of Gabrielle Lloyd, Jeff Rawle, Sue Wallace and Derek Hutchinson.Show more
Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys. '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 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. True, 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 predilectionsShow more
On the Margin was a six part BBC TV satirical comedy sketch show written and performed by Alan Bennett, with journalist and TV presenter John Sergeant and actor Virginia Stride. It was first broadcast in 1966 and was such a critical success that it was repeated twice the following year. Although Alan Bennett - already famous due to Beyond the Fringe - took swipes at contemporary Britain, his love of his country's cultural heritage always remained. Besides Bennett, the series also featured Yvonne Gillan, Madge Hindle and Roland MacLeod. However, On the Margin sadly became one of the notorious casualties of the BBC's tape-recycling policies and the series was completely wiped after its final broadcast. Lost audio recordings of the show were rediscovered in 2014, but so far this release is the only existing compilation of On the Margin...Show more
The eighties were a busy time for Alan Bennett, playwright, actor and now diarist. But this is not just a diary for theatre lovers, although his insider’s ear on the arts world is well-attuned and unmissable. Bennett’s life is broader. His accounts of theatre troubles and even more troublesome critics are combined with his memories of a writer’s tour of Russia, life in New York and Camden, filming in Egypt and tales of a Yorkshire village. He also covers the big events of his time: the Falklands War, Mrs Thatcher and the assassination of John Lennon. Taken from Alan Bennett’s bestselling book, Writing Home, this keenly viewed history of the decade confirms Bennett as one of life’s great observers – clear-eyed, compassionate and funny.Show more
Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent stars as 'mad' King George III in the title role of this adaptation of Alan Bennett's award-winning play, which co-stars Cheryl Campbell, Nicholas Farrell and Alun Armstrong. The King is losing his mind. Doctors are brought in as his eccentric behaviour becomes more bizarre and erratic, while his son, the Prince Regent, waits - and plots. Combining Jim Broadbent's 'heartbreaking portrayal of the batty old monarch' (Observer) with Alan Bennett's trademark dark humour this full-cast drama was first heard on the BBC's World Service. The Madness of George III was filmed as the Oscar-winning The Madness of King George, starring Nigel Hawthorne and Helen Mirren.Show more
This is the fourth recording from 'Untold Stories', containing 'A Common Assault', 'The History Boys' and 'Arise, Sir...' 'Untold Stories', Alan Bennett's first major collection of prose since his bestselling 'Writing Home', brings together the finest and funniest of his writing over the last ten years. After 'Untold Stories: Part 1: Stories', 'Part 2: The Diaries' and 'Part 3: Written on the Body', 'Part 4: A Common Assault' contains two more reminiscences from Bennett's life and an essay on the class system. 'A Common Assault' describes an incident in Italy when he was mugged, and found himself trying to give a statement to the police in bad Italian. 'The History Boys' harks back once more to Bennett's time at school, and shows how the raw material of experience was eventually transformed into the highly-acclaimed stage play 'The History Boys'. 'Arise, Sir...', finishes on a light-hearted note, in which Bennett muses on the Honours List in typically iconoclastic mode.Show more
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