Spend an Evening with Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett, playwright, novelist and national treasure, embarks on a mini-tour of Berwickshire on 21 February – not, sadly, in person, but in the form of three of his works performed by accomplished local theatre group, Duns Players.

The tour, which takes in St Abbs, Coldstream, Duns and Greenlaw, will feature two of Bennett’s much-loved Talking Heads monologues: Her Big Chance about the deluded ‘actress’ Lesley in a role made famous by Julie Walters (and played here by local actress Holly Thomas) and A Cream Cracker under the Settee, the reflections of 75-year-old Doris as she lies following a fall, a role immortalised by Thora Hird (here Duns Players’ own Helen Forsyth).

The evening’s programme is rounded off with the short play, A Visit from Miss Prothero, in which Mr Dodsworth’s quiet satisfaction with his life as a retired accounts manager is exploded by a visit from the waspish Miss Prothero (in the original 1978 BBC TV version Patricia Routledge, with Hugh Lloyd). Duns Players stalwarts Kate Lester and Jerry Ponder take up the reins on this tour.

As Duns Players has amply demonstrated in recent years from a string of top-quality productions (from Calendar Girls and Glengarry Glen Ross to Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army), this latest show promises to be an evening of priceless entertainment, displaying all the pathos, irony and minutiae of human frailty that give Bennett his unique place in our hearts.

An Evening with Alan Bennett by Duns Players is on at the following venues:

St Abbs, Ebba Centre – Friday 21 February

Coldstream, Eildon Centre – Saturday 22 February

Duns Volunteer Hall – Friday 28 February

Greenlaw Memorial Hall – Saturday 1 March

Performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 on the door. Licensed bar.