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Untold Stories: Hymn

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Duchess Theatre
Catherine Street, West End, Greater London WC2B 5LA
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Alex Jennings almost perfectly captures Alan Bennett and it is difficult to imagine that there is a better impersonation elsewhere in London. The play is made up of two recollections of Bennett's childhood and offers all the cosy nostalgic whimsy his legions of admirers could wish for. However it must be remembered that the notoriously private Bennett is only allowing us to see what he wants us to see. In the second short play, Cocktail Sticks, he offers a partly affectionate portrait of his parents who, he complains, gave him nothing to write about as his childhood had no "issues" to cope with. But it's also a rather condescending memoir of a couple who had very few social graces, although Bennett does admit to some shame over his embarrasssment when they come to vist him at Oxford. Untold Stories offers a delightful glimpse of Bennett but does confirm the impression created by People that the wry exterior might be concealing a colossal snob.

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