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Late Doors

Enjoy, Alan Bennett, WYP

It's Perpetual Hovis boy Alan Bennett season down at the playhouse. Mrs D not able to make it so i went alone. The playhouse attracts a good mix of people. Maybe its the big city eclecticisms and metropolitan savvy but there is nowhere near the haughty insipid greyness of a provincial theatre crowd. Even the clearly well off seem to have an agreeable egalitarian spirit about them. I had a pint at the bar casually observing before making my way into the mini arena comfort of the quarry theatre. There is no better place to see a play for my money, spacious and unobstructed the seats wrap around the stage front giving perfect sound and vision from all angles.

Never been a massive AB fan. I don't know why, possibly because I've seen and heard dozens just like him all my life. His pithy wry musings and social analysis are so familiar with me i struggle to see how they can be a national treasure lauded by the gentry when for most of his life my mate S has not had a pot to piss in despite him being a better Alan Bennett than the man himself.

Anyway, enough of my wealth envy, i  like him enough to read and watch his stuff so here i am.

A retired couple in a terraced house somewhere in Leeds. I say retired, he is, ill health but women never retire do they. The neighbourhood is due for demolition to make way for new modern housing. She knows she will miss the place, he is looking toward to high rise living, open spaces and a window ledge to grow his tomatoes. They talk about a daughter working as a PA in Sweden and a son whose name shall not be spoken in this house who is somewhere else.

Suddenly their "ordinariness" is shattered as an invasion takes place and the story eeks out from the living room into dark comical snickets and ginnels where unwelcome surprises lurk. Fabulous fun touching on the family dysfunction, social change, care and other contemporary themes. It isn't classic Bennett which I find too twee to fully get on board with, it has a darker side to it than usual. Time gallops on whipping up a dust storm of change whilst he ruefully contemplates the callous implications, the voids it leaves, the social fracture and the people it floors in its wake.

Two and a half hours including interval flew by and i was left with a comic, contemplative cocktail pondering the themes it invoked. They aren't new themes, community, family, society change and domestic secrets but constant themes for constant appraisal. Loads of people do it, I still don't know why Alan Bennett is so lauded for it though.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Read the script of this a couple of years ago - bleak but strangely prescient and quite satirical
Late Doors

Caught me by suprise, a pleasant one though. Yes cosidering it was wrote decades ago it is quite contemporary. Forum Index -> Fishual Entertainment
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