The Lady in the Van: Play (Faber Plays)

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9780571204717: The Lady in the Van: Play (Faber Plays)
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Adapted by the author from his autobiographical memoir, The Lady in the Van tells the story of Miss Mary Shepherd, whom Bennett first came across when she was living in the street near his home in Camden Town.

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Review:

Life imitates art in The Lady in the Van, the story of the itinerant Miss Shepherd, who lived in a van in Alan Bennett's driveway from the early1970s until her death in 1989. It is doubtful that Bennett could have made up the eccentric Miss Shepherd if he tried, but his poignant, funny but unsentimental account of their strange relationship is akin to his best fictional screen writing.

Bennett concedes that "One seldom was able to do her a good turn without some thoughts of strangulation", but as the plastic bags build up, the years pass by and Miss Shepherd moves into Bennett's driveway, a relationship is established which defines a certain moment in late 20th-century London life which has probably gone forever. The dissenting, liberal, middle-class world of Bennett and his peers comes into hilarious but also telling collision with the world of Miss Shepherd: "there was a gap between our social position and our social obligations. It was in this gap that Miss Shepherd (in her van) was able to live".

Bennett recounts Miss Shepherd's bizarre escapades in his inimitable style, from her letter to the Argentinean Embassy at the height of the Falklands War, to her attempts to stand for Parliament and wangle an electric wheelchair out of the Social Services. Beautifully observed, The Lady in the Van is as notable for Bennett's attempts to uncover the enigmatic history of Miss Shepherd, as it is for its amusing account of her eccentric escapades. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

Praise for Alan Bennett:

'Has you laughing as well as mopping your eyes. Utter genius

(Daily Mail)

Clear-eyed, touching, occasionally waspish ... ever honest (The Times)

Alan Bennett continues to surprise and delight (John Banville Daily Telegraph)

A perfect stocking filler for just about anyone (Monica Ali Guardian)

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Adapted by the author from his autobiographical memoir, The Lady in the Van tells the story of Miss Mary Shepherd, whom Alan Bennett first came across when she was living in the street near his home in Camden Town. Taking refuge with her van in his garden originally for three months, she ended up staying fifteen years. Funny, touching and unexpectedly spectacular, The Lady in the Van marked the return to the stage of one of our leading playwrights. The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith opened at the Queen s Theatre, London, in December 1999. Seller Inventory # AA99780571204717

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Adapted by the author from his autobiographical memoir, The Lady in the Van tells the story of Miss Mary Shepherd, whom Alan Bennett first came across when she was living in the street near his home in Camden Town. Taking refuge with her van in his garden originally for three months, she ended up staying fifteen years. Funny, touching and unexpectedly spectacular, The Lady in the Van marked the return to the stage of one of our leading playwrights. The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith opened at the Queen s Theatre, London, in December 1999. Seller Inventory # AA99780571204717

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Book Description Faber and Faber, 2000. Condition: New. 2000. Main. Paperback. Adapted by the author from his autobiographical memoir, "The Lady in the Van" tells the story of Miss Mary Shepherd, whom Bennett first came across when she was living in the street near his home in Camden Town. Num Pages: 128 pages. BIC Classification: DD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 10. Weight in Grams: 142. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780571204717

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Book Description Faber and Faber. Condition: New. 2000. Main. Paperback. Adapted by the author from his autobiographical memoir, "The Lady in the Van" tells the story of Miss Mary Shepherd, whom Bennett first came across when she was living in the street near his home in Camden Town. Num Pages: 128 pages. BIC Classification: DD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 10. Weight in Grams: 142. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780571204717

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