Imelda Staunton, Kristin Scott Thomas, and more announced for Talking Heads at the Bridge Theatre

Starry stagings of Alan Bennett’s beloved monologues series also boast Tamsin Grieg, Lesley Manville, and Monica Dolan. 

Imelda Staunton in A Lady of Letters, part of the Talking Heads series

The Bridge Theatre have announced which of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues will be performed in repertory at the Bankside venue when it reopens with social distancing from August.

The all-star cast, each reprising roles they performed in the recent BBC filmed series, include Imelda Staunton, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Lesley Manville. The monologues in full are:

Monica Dolan in The Shrine directed by Nicholas Hytner

Tamsin Greig in Nights in the Gardens of Spain directed by Marianne Elliott

Lesley Manville in Bed Among the Lentils directed by Nicholas Hytner

Lucian Msamati in Playing Sandwiches directed by Jeremy Herrin

Maxine Peake in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet directed by Sarah Frankcom

Rochenda Sandall in The Outside Dog directed by Nadia Fall

Kristin Scott Thomas in The Hand of God directed by Jonathan Kent

Imelda Staunton in A Lady of Letters directed by Jonathan Kent

The plays will run in repertory, with each performance consisting of two of the monologues.

Designs are by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Jon Clark, video designs by Luke Halls, sound by Gareth Fry, and music by George Fenton. The author, Alan Bennett, has generously waived his royalties for the performances.

Bennett’s work was last seen at the Bridge Theatre in 2018 with the premiere of Allelujah!, marking the tenth time he has collaborated with the Bridge’s Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner. They previously worked together on plays including The Madness of King George III, The Lady in the Van, and The History Boys.

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series were first seen on television in 1988 and 1998, also with an all-star cast including Maggie Smith, Patricia Routledge, and Julie Walters. 

This season at the Bridge wil not be the first time the monologues have been performed in a theatrical setting. In 1992, Patricia Routledge performed a season of A Woman of No Importance and A Lady of Letters alongside Alan Bennett performing A Chip in the Sugar at the Comedy Theatre (now the Harold Pinter Theatre). Maggie Smith then performed Bed Among the Lentils alongside Margaret Tyzack in Soldiering On, also at the Comedy in 1996.

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