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Iceni Magazine | May 25, 2018

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The Lady in the Van comes to St Georges Theatre

The Lady in the Van comes to St Georges Theatre

This May, the newly formed St Georges Players present one of Alan Bennett’s most loved and treasured classics, The Lady in the Van.

This inaugural production is part of St Georges Theatre’s pledge to provide a series of arts based activities for the theatre’s local community. Other activities include a community choir, a youth theatre and numerous other opportunities in the coming months.  The Lady in the Van marks the new adult drama group’s first offering. 

The Lady in the Van is the true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who ‘temporarily’ parked her broken-down van in writer Alan Bennett’s London driveway, and proceeded to live there for the next 15 years. Originally a short novella, made up of diary entries and notes, it later became a hit West End 1990 stage play and finally a famous film adaptation in 2015 starring an all-star cast, most notably starring Dame Maggie Smith in the title role. During the story of Miss Shepherd bit by bit we discover more about who this lady was and how she came to be the character we know today. The play has become a classic, whilst being both tender, moving and also painfully funny in equal measure, the play also focuses on human frailty and the eccentric nature of its titular character.

Pictured: Maureen Rogers as Miss Shepherd, Duncan Clarke and Jamie Bernthal – Hooker. Photographer – Joshua Simpson

Director, Thomas Bailey said “I am delighted that we can bring this wonderfully warm hearted and touching story of Alan Bennett’s encounters with the Lady in the Van. As well as being a highly entertaining play, it gives us a window into the life of a woman whose fate is similar to many people we see living on the streets in Britain, but this story is seen through the perceptive eyes of one of Britain’s great national treasures.”

This inaugural production is very much a local affair. Every part of the production has been produced by local businesses and talent; from actors and production team, to publicity and photography, the production’s set and even the van itself which has been built by the local Men’s Shed. The company comprises a mix of local amateurs new to the stage alongside more seasoned semi – professionals. 

The show runs between 23rd to 25th May at St Georges Theatre before going on a short tour around the surrounding areas. To book tickets you can visit the theatre’s box office between 10am- 2:30pm Monday to Saturday or an hour before show time. Book over the telephone by calling (01493) 331 484 or book on line at www.stgeorgestheatre.com

If you are interested in joining the St Georges Players future productions, please contact Thomas Bailey at thom@stgeorgestheatre.com for more information.


 

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