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Main House

The Lady in the Van

by Alan Bennett, directed by Jonathan Church

17 August - 2 September 2017

The Lady in the Van

The Lady in the Van


In 1974, Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman, temporarily moved her clapped out Bedford van into Alan Bennett's front garden at Gloucester Crescent, Camden. She remained parked there for the next fifteen years.

The genuinely eccentric gatecrasher claims at various times to be a trained concert pianist, an ex-nun and on the run. She founds her own political party and the Virgin Mary appears to her regularly.

Described by her reluctant landlord as “a bigoted, cantankerous, devious, unforgiving, self-centred, rank, rude, car-mad cow”, she was to provide the subject for one of Bennett’s best-loved plays.

Originally a memoir, a radio series and, recently, a film, The Lady in the Van is classic Alan Bennett, touching, uplifting and wonderfully funny.

Alan Bennett’s plethora of multi award-winning plays includes Single Spies, Talking Heads, The Madness of George III, The History Boys and Enjoy.

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  • Reviews

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    Very funny, very poignant, revealing and splendidly entertaining - Mail on Sunday

    Bennett is the most entertaining of writers, and as always the piece is packed with jokes - Daily Telegraph

    Enough soaring lines to furnish half a dozen dramas - Observer

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  • Cast

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    Mary Shepherd - Sara Kestelman

    Further casting to be announced 

    Director - Jonathan Church

    Designer - Robert Innes Hopkins

    Lighting - Tim Mitchell

    Composer - Matthew Scott

    Sound - Mike Walker

    Casting Director - Gabrielle Dawes CDG

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  • Info

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    Monday – Saturday 7.30pm
    National Press Night 23rd August 7pm
    Matinees Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm (No Matinee 17th August)

    Preview Performances 17th – 22nd August and National Press Performance on 23rd August all seats £25. (Grand Circle £15) Subscription Scheme does not apply. No other discounts apply.

    Running Time: tbc

    • Post Show Discussion: Thursday 31st August


    Previews & National Press Performance £15.00 £25.00 £25.00 £25.00 £25.00
    Mon – Fri eves and Sat mats: £21.00 £26.50 £28.50 £31.50 £33.50
    Sat eves: £23.50 £27.50 £29.50 £32.50 £35.50
    Thurs mats: £19.50 £25.00 £27.00 £31.00 £32.00

    Please note: from Monday 24th April 2017, all prices in the Main House and Ustinov Studio incur a booking fee of £1.25 per ticket in addition to the advertised prices, regardless of payment method or amount of tickets booked. Please note all prices in the egg theatre incur a booking fee of 50p per ticket in addition to the advertised prices, regardless of payment method or amount of tickets booked.

    Please note the ticket price includes a £2 Building Levy.

    Plus £1 postage 

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