Reviews

Alan Bennett at the BBC DVD

BBC DVD / Region 4 / Released May 2010

One of Britain’s best loved TV playwrights gets a very lovely, dare we say, sumptuous DVD box set treatment this month.

Making his name in the early sixties as one quarter of the legendary Beyond the Fringe group the wonderful Bennett quickly moved into writing full time, first for the stage and then for the box in the corner. This 4 disc set gathers together some of his most popular pieces ranging from the crisp black and white of 1972’s A Day Out to the glossy Alan Bates starring 102 Blvd Houssman and along the way incorporating such productions as the Kafka inspired The Insurance Man (starring a young Daniel Day Lewis) to political tensions in A Question of Attribution and taking in a couple of his famed Talking Heads monologues too.

Also included is the quite superb Sunset Across the Bay which really sums up Bennett’s whole ouvre focusing as it does on the minutie of the everyday when an elderly couple retire to the coast and find it is not what they were expecting. Touching, emotional and actually quite beautiful in its portrayal of a couple who have been married for longer than they can remember.

The set also includes specially recorded introductions for each of the plays and an interview with Bennett himself.





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