The Lady in the Van
From: Monday, 16th May 2011
To: Saturday, 21 May 2011
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Miss Shepherd is a curious and enigmatic lady. Alan knows very little about her. She used to drive ambulances in the war, might have been a nun, sells pencils and pamphlets and has an unexplained aversion to piano music. But somehow she lives in the playwright’s garden and has done for years. The Lady in the Van is based on renowned British playwright Alan Bennett’s own recollections of the indomitable Miss Shepherd and is, as with any Bennett play, a beautifully observed, sharply intelligent and wonderfully witty drama.
Glenn Meads - 17 May 2011
If you have gone off Alan Bennett of late via the overrated play The History Boys, Hull Truck Theatre's superb adaptation of his The Lady In The Van will restore your faith in the northern wordsmith. The narrative may be stretched so much, that you have no idea what is true and what has come from his dusty old typewriter, but this does not spoil your enjoyment of what remains a very funny and poignant play.
Miss Shepherd is a bright and eccentric lady who takes root in Bennett's garden, without him being able to do much about it, as deep down he respects this displaced woman, with her lavender talcum powder smelling aroma used to mask what lies beneath. Nichola McAuliffe plays the title character with ease, making the audience sympathetic - however irritating and whiffy she becomes. You begin to think: What would I do if this woman turned up out of the blue - which is a sign of how goo...
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