Sometimes it takes (almost) a lifetime to discover something really special, or someone… and Paul and I have done just that, in the late years of our lives, with our discovery of the English (Yorkshire to be exact) playwright, Alan Bennett. Although we’ve heard a lot about him before this, we had never actually sat down and watched his work until now.
This is such an entertaining selection of his works, including the following (the last two of which we have yet to see):
* An Englishman Abroad
* A Day Out
* Sunset Across the Bay
* A Visit from Miss Prothero
* Our Winnie
* A Woman of No Importance
* The Insurance Man
* Dinner at Noon
* 102 Boulevard Haussman
* A Question of Attribution
* Portrait or Bust
Last night we watched “102, Boulevard Haussman” which is the story Bennett wrote about French writer Marcel Proust. Well! It was fabulous, to put it mildly. In fact, I plan to watch it again as I don’t think I got every last word of it last night – sometimes the first viewing of a show is like that, what with dogs always wanting something… letting them in and out, Paul getting dessert right in the middle of the show, etc., etc.
But the thing that got to me was Marcel Proust. I have, of course, heard of him but I’ve never read him before. (It helped that the actor, Alan Bates, played Proust, and Bates is one of my all-time favourite actors.) I did read about him last night after watching the show, on a few web sites including the Marcel Proust Wikipedia page here. So much to read and learn about! My eyes were bulging out of my head as it was bedtime and I’d already spent the whole day reading, as I usually do, but by bedtime, my eyes are quite tired and I just had to put it away for another day. I’m going back there soon! Several times last night I heard Proust referred to as “the greatest French/European novelist of the 20th century,” so that’s enough for me!
So here I’ve given you 5 videos of Alan Bennett going through some of his works and favourite shows… this is so good I just can’t tell you how good it is! It’s worth the time, and they aren’t really all that lengthy. I will give the time/length of each. Save and come back when you have some free minutes in your day. You will love this! And you will see why we just can’t get enough of what the British entertainment circles have to offer.
Watching “Dinner at Noon” last night, also, was fabulous. It’s a personal film of what it’s like dining at a hotel in Harrogate, N. Yorkshire, England – with Bennett interspersing current day visitors with his memories of going there with his parents as a child and being so intimidated by the place (“The Crown” in Harrogate). It’s splendid, as is everything this man does!
A Night In With Alan Bennett
Video #1 (Time: 9:59 mins.)
Video #2 (Time: 10:00 mins.)
Video #3 (Time: 10:00 mins)
(Video #4 does not exist for some reason)
Video #5: (Time: 9:55 mins)
Cheers for the incomparable Alan Bennett,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Click to do a crossword puzzle
I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals…
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied… not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.
~ [Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass, No. 32”] ~