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Publisher's Summary

This is the first collection of six individual portraits from the master of the monologue. Performed by the author and five of Britain's leading actresses, Alan Bennett's tales are full of quirky, insightful detail that bring the characters vividly to life. From Julie Walters' portrayal of an actress seeking fame to Anna Massey's alcoholic vicar's wife, these individuals are linked by their self-delusion, desperation, and vulnerability. In these compelling pieces, Bennett displays the wry observation, knowing irony, and tender understatement that have ensured his rightful place at the forefront of contemporary writing. This collection includes A Chip in the Sugar with Alan Bennett; A Lady of Letters with Patricia Routledge; Bed Among the Lentils with Anna Massey; Soldiering On with Stephanie Cole; Her Big Chance with Julie Walters; and A Cream Cracker Under the Settee with Thora Hird.
©2001 and (P)1998, 2001 BBC Worldwide Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Nancy J on 06-16-14

Quirky, funny and brilliant

Alan Bennett is my all-time favorite writer of dialogue and monologue. He is a master at showing a character's inner feelings without the character's actually knowing he or she is revealing much of anything. And he has an uncanny knack for creating the talk of women: every line, even when pretty far out, sounds absolutely true to the character.

These talents make the "Talking Heads" monologues memorable, ironic and funny at the same time that they are moving and powerful. In particular, "A Lady of Letters," with Patricia Routledge, and "Bed Among the Lentils," with Anna Massey demonstrate the quiet lives of desperation lived by many women.

This is material guaranteed to make you laugh or chuckle and yet be moved by the speakers. Highly recommended!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Ron L. Caldwell on 03-02-08

Impeccable, terrific, and moving

These are some of the most exquisite pieces of acting I've ever heard. Each seemingly mundane character harbors, then reveals some unimaginable secret that bubbles up from the undercurrent of a seemingly normal life.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Alistair on 05-22-08

Outstanding monologues

This was my first introduction to Alan Bennett and now I can't believe I didn?t listen to his stuff sooner.

He has an incredible way of story telling that's both familiar and easily accessible, not normally something I would say about long monologues.

The narrators really are top notch, Julie Walters is superb.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Laura on 09-08-09

Brilliant Bennett

A joy to read, a joy to listen too and joy to be part of. Alan Bennett will have you amazed that he has been able to put so many of the obivous everyday obersvations we have all made into this little gems. If this is your first taste of Bennett you will find yourself only wanting more. For those of us who have savoured his work for years it is more to enjoy.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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