Bennett’s The History Boys, has received world wide acclaim, winning an Evening Standard Award & Critics' Circle Award for Best Play & a
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play.
Alan Bennett’s work for television includes: A Day Out, Sunset Across The Bay, A Visit From Mrs Protheroe, Me I’m Afraid of Virgina Woolf, Doris and Doreen, The Old Crowd, Afternoon Off, One Fine Day, All Day On The Sands, Intensive Care (in which he played the leading role), Our Winnie Marks, Rolling Home, Say Something Happened, A Woman Of No Importance and the highly acclaimed award-winning An Englishman Abroad, which starred Alan Bates and Coral Browne. His television play The Insurance Man was broadcast by the BBC in 1978, starring Daniel Day Lewis. His collection of monologues Talking Heads, transmitted by the BBC in 1989, received unanimous praise and won the Hawthornden Prize.
His first feature film, A Private Function, starring Maggie Smith and Michael Palin, was released in 1985. His second screenplay, Prick Up Your Ears, received wide acclaim – it was directed by Stephen Frears and starred Gary Oldman (as Joe Orton), Alfred Molina and Vanessa Redgrave.
An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution were produced in December 1988 as a double bill at the Royal National Theatre under the title Single Spies and then transferred to the Queen’s Theatre in the West End, afterwards touring extensively in the UK. BBC Television has subsequently shown the film A Question of Attribution directed by John Schelesinger and starring Jamie Fox.
Bennett’s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows opened at the Olivier Theatre in December 1990, was remounted by the National Theatre in November in 1991, returned again in 1993 and 1994 and was transferred at the Old Vic at Christmas in 1995. It closed in April 1996 and was then taken out on tour.
Two of the monologues from the Talking Heads collection, A Chip in The Sugar and A Lady Of Letters together with an earlier monologue, A Woman of No Importance opened at the Comedy Theatre in January 1992 starring Patricia Routledge and Alan Bennett who also directed the production. The show won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Entertainment of the Year and Alan Bennett won the Award for the Most Outstanding Performance of the Year in a Musical or Entertainment.
The Madness of George III, a National Theatre Production, opened at the Lyttelton Theatre in November 1991 with Nigel Hawthorne playing George III. This production toured America in Autumn 1993 and Greece and Israel in 1995. The feature film The Madness Of King George starring Nigel Hawthorne and Helen Mirren, released in 1995, was nominated for two Oscars and was the highest grossing independently released feature film in America during 1995.
Writing Home, his collection of prose writing, was published by Faber in 1994 and has remained on the UK best-sellers list ever since.
Two Talking Heads monologues were presented in Summer 1996 at Chichester Festival Theatre, Bed Among The Lentils with Maggie Smith and Soldiering On with Margaret Tyzack, directed by the author, and transferred to the Comedy Theatre in the West End on 22nd October 1996. Habeas Corpus (directed by Sam Mendes) and starring Brenda Blethyn, was revived at the Donmar Warehouse in 1996.
PW Productions toured Forty Years On to great acclaim in 1997. Kafka’s Dick opened at the Piccadilly Theatre on 19th November 1998 and played in repertoire until February 1999.
Alan Bennett’s second series of Talking Heads monologues was broadcast by the BBC in Autumn 1998 and won the South Bank Show Award for Best Drama.
Alan’s play The Lady In the Van, starring Maggie Smith and directed by Nicholas Hytner, opened at the Queen’s Theatre on 7th December 1999 and closed on 15th July 2000. The Lady In the Van opened at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2001 and ran at West Yorkshire Playhouse in May 2002.
Bed Among The Lentils with Maggie Smith and Soldiering On with Margaret Tyzack, directed by Anthony Page received triumphant reviews in Australia and New Zealand in 2003.