Alan Bennett’s distinctive talent for astute observation, acerbic wit, irony and nostalgia are all present and correct in this charming duo of BBC audiobook titles. Starring the critically acclaimed author himself, as well as Patricia Routledge, Sir John Gielgud and Paul Eddington, these two popular plays are brought to life as infallible BBC Radio 4 performances.
The first to take the stage, ‘A Woman of No Importance’, stars Patricia Routledge as Margaret Schofield, whose social success revolves almost solely around gossip and the small-scale intricacies of her office existence. But as unavoidable decline sets in, the routine on which she built her status is taken away from her and her desperate attempts to recreate it trigger stirring revelations.
The twosome is completed by ‘Forty Years On’, Alan Bennett’s most popular stage play, which tells the tale of a Headmaster who is retiring from his post at Albion School after a long and influential career. Yet he is horrified to find his sacred standards being subverted as he participates in the school’s end of term celebrations for the last time. Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed parody of fading British traditions is complete with hefty nostalgic undertones.
This duo of Alan Bennett titles is a welcome addition to any collection and is available as an MP3 audiobook.