‘One seldom was able to do her a good turn without some thoughts of strangulation.’
The Lady in the Van, adapted by Alan Bennett from his memoir, tells the true story of his unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd, a homeless elderly woman, who temporarily moved her live-in battered van onto his driveway in 1973 and stayed for the next 15 years.
Miss Shepherd was a promising concert pianist between the wars, drove an ambulance during World War II, then was twice rejected from becoming a nun and developed mental health issues. Well-educated, cantankerously articulate and deeply religious, she had lived in a succession of vans around Camden.
Alan Bennett is the writer of The History Boys, Talking Heads and The Madness of George III and his latest play, Habit of Art, was a recent hit at the National Theatre.
The Lady in the Van is based on his own recollections of the indomitable Miss Shepherd and is, as you would expect from Bennett, a beautifully observed, sharply intelligent and wonderfully witty drama.
The Lady in the Van
A play by: Alan Bennett
Directed by: David Blakey
Presented by: Ellerslie Theatrical Society
Matinees Sunday 11 and Saturday 17 November at 2pm.
No evening performance Sunday 11 November.
No performance Monday 12 November.
This amateur production of The Lady in the Van is presented by special arrangement with The Play Bureau Ltd on behalf of Samuel French Ltd.