The Lady In The Van parks at Waterside

Nichola McAuliffe in The Lady In The Van. Photo by Karl Andre Smit.
Nichola McAuliffe in The Lady In The Van. Photo by Karl Andre Smit.

WRITER Alan Bennett didn’t have to look too far for inspiration when he produced the acclaimed comedy The Lady In The Van. The lady herself, a wonderful, if smelly eccentric called Miss Shepherd, moved her wreck of a Bedford van into Bennett’s Camden front garden and stayed for 15 years.

Now Hull Truck Theatre bring their production of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on April 24 for five days. I caught the production last year at Watford Palace Theatre and the wonderful award-winning Nichola McAuliffe gives a career best as the dotty old bird.

This heart-warming and heart-breaking hit play tells of the writer’s uneasy relationship with his unorthadox squatter and it really is one of his finest works. It is full of warmth and wit, with great one-liners as you would expect from the writer of Talking Heads, Madness of George III and The History Boys.

The play wouldn’t be complete without Bennett himself and we have him in stereo, sometimes arguing among themselves! There are two Alan Bennetts in The Lady in the Van, unerringly portrayed by actors Sean McKenzie and Paul Kemp, whose previous appearances have included Birdsong for the BBC.

For tickets call the box office 0844 8717607 or visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury.

*Milton Keynes Theatre has the return of Northern Ballet with Beauty and the Beast (April 17-21) followed by Connie Fisher in the Tony Award-winning revival of the musical Wonderful Town (April 24-28). For info and tickets call the box office 0844 8717652 or go online www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes