Who is Alan Bennett?

Greetings. Who is Alan Bennett? Allow me and as usual, you are welcome. Alan Bennett is an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. Born in Leeds and attended Oxford University where he studied history. Mad respect. Bennett stayed on at Oxford to teach and research medieval history for several years. He later gave up academia and put his hand to full-time writing. Sorry about the pun, people. His first stage play was Forty Years On and was produced in 1968. He has written loads of other stuff too, but will get to that in a bit.

Bennett was born in Leeds and was the son of a butcher. He learned Russian during his national service stint before receiving a scholarship for Oxford. Later, Bennett found himself playing/portraying vicars in the theatre and claimed that he thought he would grow up to be a Church of England clergyman, for no better reason-except that he looked like one. Bennett would go on to dabble in academia as well as to go on to act, write plays and other theatre related stuff. Bennett has a strong, distinctive voice and has maintained his Leeds accent, which has worked in his favour. Bennett’s readings of Winnine the Pooh stories have been widely enjoyed.

The recent movie, The Lady in the Van was based on Bennett’s experiences with an eccentric lady by the name of, Miss Shepherd, who lived on Bennett’s driveway in a series of dilapidated vans for more than 15 years and chronicles their strained and often hilarious relationship/friendship. A radio play of the same title was broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 a few years back with actress Maggie Smith portraying Shepherd and Alan Bennett playing himself. The work has been published in book form and now a film version has been released with Dame Maggie Smith again playing Miss Shepherd. I hear the movie is pretty good, I will definitely go and see it and I think you should too. Also, Alan Bennett makes a cameo at the very end of the film.





  1. waternymph88 · March 14, 2016

    I love him soooo much! xxx

    • samdfb1 · March 14, 2016

      Right? How dishy was he when he was younger? Oh and I have massive respect for Oxbridge types. 😉 xxx

  2. Laura (PA Pict) · March 14, 2016

    Bennett is one of my favourite living playwrights and possibly one of my favourite playwrights overall. I first discovered him through his ‘Talking Head’ monologues. The way he articulatesvibrant, varied, intriguing characters through giving them distinctive voices hugely impresses.

  3. Yvonne · March 15, 2016

    My daughter in law and I saw The Lady in the Van yesterday. RUN, don’t walk, to the cinema. It’s a grand movie, I think you’ll like it. Take at least one tissue.

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