The Lady in a Van – Alan Bennett
Friday 23rd April at 6:00 pm
The play is set between 1974-1989. The action takes place in Alan Bennett’s house, garden and street outside in Camden, London.
The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s somewhat strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, a crabby, eccentric and unsanitary homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her to park her van in the driveway of his Camden home "for three months". She ended up residing there for 15 years. As the story develops, Bennett learns of Miss Shepherd's true identity: Margaret Fairchild, a gifted former pupil of the pianist Alfred Cortot. She had played Chopin at The Proms, attempted to become a nun, was committed to an institution by her brother, escaped, had an accident when her van was hit by a motorcyclist for whose death she believed herself to blame, and thereafter lived in fear of arrest.
Much of the dialogue is between two versions of Bennett – his "real self" and his "writer self".
During her 15-year stay in his drive, Bennett balances his writing career with watching over Shepherd and providing for his increasingly invalid mother. Though he denies caring for anyone, he slowly becomes aware of his growing friendship with Shepherd which continued until her death.
Cast requirement (all British accents):
Miss Shepherd – stage age around 65
Alan Bennett, the author’s public persona - Late 30’s early 40’s Stage age
Alan Bennett 2, his inner persona
Mam, Alan Bennett’s mother – age around 60
Rufus, Alan Bennett’s neighbour - 40’s
Pauline, Rufus’s wife – 40’s
Social worker, female 20’s
Underwood, a dilapidated figure - Anywhere between 55-65
Mam’s doctor - Early 50’s
Miss Shepard’s doctor (40’s)
Leo Fairchild, Miss Shepard’s brother - Early 60’s
Lout Late - teenage -early 20’s
Interviewer - mid-late 20’s
Priest 40’s – 60’s
Council workmen, undertakers…
Audition: Friday 23rd April 6-00pm ---
Call Backs (if necessary) Sat. 24th April 2:30pm
Rehearsals: Not all required at all calls.
Tue 27 May 2020 7 pm read-through
Tue and Thurs commencing 27 May 7 pm
Sun 30 May 9-12 pm
27th June (HOLD)
TECH WEEK 25th July Sun/Mon/Tues/ Wed/ HOLD Thurs.29th July
Fri 30 July 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sat 31 Julyt 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sun 1 August 1 pm call for 2 pm show
Fri 6 August 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sat 7 August 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sun 8 August 1 pm call for 2 pm show
Fri 13 August 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sat 14 August 6:30 pm call for 7:30 pm show
Sun 15 August 1 pm call for 2 pm show, afterwards clean-up and after-party