top of page

Playwright of the Week: ALAN BENNETT

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Age: 86

Birthday: 9th May

Alan Bennett is an English actor, author, playwright, and screenwriter. He was born in Leeds and attended Oxford University, where he studied history and performed with the Oxford Revue. His collaboration as writer and performer with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in the satirical revue Beyond the Fringe at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival brought him instant fame. He gave up academia, and turned to writing full-time, his first stage play, Forty Years On, being produced in 1968.

Edinburgh Festival runs throughout the month of August, sadly not taking place this year. Beyond the Fringe remains one of the most famous plays of the Festival, when it was performed in 1960 there was under 100 different shows performed that year at the festival. In 2019 - there was over 50,000 shows performed within the month.
Here's a pic of our students performing on The Royal Mile at the Edinburgh Festival 2019:

Alan Bennett's work includes The Madness of George III and its film adaptation, the series of monologues Talking Heads, the play and subsequent film of The History Boys, and audio books, including his readings of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Winnie-the-Pooh.



1995 - Best Adapted Screenplay: THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE


1996 - Best Adapted Screenplay: THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE

1989 - Best Leading TV Actor: TALKING HEADS

1988 - Best Adapted Screenplay: PRICK UP YOUR EARS

1985 - Best Original Screenplay: A PRIVATE FUNCTION

How do you rate Alan Bennett' movies?




Alan Bennett's Talking Heads (Age 12)

Wednesday 8th July, BBC1, 7:35pm

Thursday 9th July, BBC1, 8:30pm

All episodes available on BBC iPlayer

Alan Bennett's famous monologues have been re-recorded this year during lockdown with two new additions. Imelda Staunton leads the first monologue, A Lady of Letters.

FILM: The History Boys (2005) (Age 15)

Thursday 9th July, BBC4, 10:40pm

Bennett's film adaptation of one of his popular plays. Look out for some familiar faces in the young cast who have gone on to be household names.

ON BBC iPlayer:

FILM: The Lady in the Van (2015) (Age 12)

Maggie Smith stars in this true story adapted from Bennett's stage play. A true story about an elderly lady who lived in a van outside Bennett's house!

What's your favourite Alan Bennett production?


bottom of page