Original titleLADY IN THE VAN, THE
Cast14 total (5 F and 9 M)
Variable cast sizeNo
RepresentationNordic representation
The title to this play refers to a certain Miss Shepherd, who died ten years ago. For a dozen years or so she lived in her old camper, parked half way up in Alan Bennett’s front garden in North London. Both as an author and private person, Alan Bennett was highly fascinated by this extraordinary woman whose clothing and strong odour were only a small part of her distinctive character, thus a plentiful source of inspiration. In this play she is characterised as a La Folle de Chaillot or like the tramps’ Lady Bracknell; the lady is a tramp. Bennett himself is split up into two characters: as a participant and an observer. Furthermore, his respectable Mother is portrayed as Miss Shepherd’s complete opposite. The inspirational Miss Shepherd was a former concert pianist and Catholic nun, who served well during the Second World War. Additionally, living in the time of Margaret Thatcher, she naturally and logically became an anarchist. In this witty and highly original comedy, she is honoured with such an uplifting sortie not seen since Ascension Day.