15 Feb 2016

Alan Bennett on Lady in the Van

From Nine To Noon, 10:07 am on 15 February 2016

Lady in the Van tells the poignant real-life story of Alan Bennett and Miss Shepherd, a homeless woman who 'temporarily' parked her van in the driveway of Bennett's Camden home and never left. 

The big screen adaptation of the celebrated memoir, was directed by long-standing Bennett collaborator Nicholas Hytner. It stars Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent, Deborah Findlay, Roger Allam, and Gwen Taylor. Filming took place on the same street and even in Bennett's old house.

"The smell is sweet, with urine only
a minor component, the prevalent
odour suggesting the inside of
someone's ear. Dank clothes are
there too, wet wool and onions,
which she eats raw, plus what for
me has always been the essence of
poverty, damp newspaper. "

Lynn Freeman speaks to the 81 year old playwright about the woman he describes as "bigoted, rank, and rude", but with a "vagabond nobility".

The film opens at New Zealand cinemas on February 25th.