The Lady in the Van
The play of "The Lady in the Van" will be staged at The Old Court, Windsor from 15th to 18th November, 2023.
About the Author
Alan Bennett was born in Leeds in 1934. After studying at Oxford University he collaborated as a writer and performer with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in Beyond the Fringe in 1960 at the Edinburgh Festival.
He then turned to writing full time and produced his first stage play Forty Years On in 1968.
His other plays include Getting On, Habeas Corpus, The Old Country, A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George), an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and The History Boys. As well as many television plays such as A Day Out, Sunset across the Bay, A Woman of No Importance and the series of monologues Talking Heads and Talking Heads II.
After Miss Shepherd drove her van into Alan Bennett's garden in 1974, his friends used to ask him if he was planning to write a play about her. He wasn't intending to, but twenty five years on, he crafted "The Lady in the Van". The time lag was in part due to the fact that Alan Bennett found it difficult to write about someone who was still alive and, as he says in the play's introduction "still on site".
The play is set in the early 1970s in Gloucester Crescent, Camden, London where Alan Bennett lived for about 40 years before moving to Primrose Hill. It covers a span of some 15 years during which the story of interactions between Alan and Miss Shepherd is told. As with the film, the device of two Alan Bennetts is used to show the audience the conflict between the inner and outer persona. There are plenty of moments of sheer joy and laughter throughout as well as, of course, some poignant moments of reflection and snide digs at the establishment, religion and politics.
Directed by Jen Mackay, who previously directed the smash hit "The Good Life" which ran from 16th to 19th November 2022 at the Old Court, this play is presented in conjunction with Samuel French and with invaluable support from The Prince Philip Trust Fund.
Alan Bennett 2
Miss Shepherd's Doctor
This production was generously supported through a grant from the Prince Philip Trust Fund, who have been supporting the local communities in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for over 45 years with grant funding.
For more information visit https://theprincephiliptrustfund.org