The Complete Talking Heads by Alan Bennett

Nov 15, 2011

In The Complete Talking Heads, British playwright Alan Bennett has written twelve monologues about ordinary people dealing with personal crisis. First produced for BBC television in 1987, they were broadcast on American public television as part of its Masterpiece Theatre program. In "Bed Among the Lentils" a vicar's wife with a fondness for drink discovers happiness with an Indian shop owner. In "A Cream Cracker Under the Settee" an elderly woman, living alone,  suffers a debilitating fall and wonders whether the only place left for her is a nursing home. In "A Chip in the Sugar" middle-aged Graham Whittaker finds life becoming more complicated as his mother, with whom he still lives, reunites with an old flame. In "The Hand of God" a wily antiques dealer, who prides herself on being able to spot genuine articles, sells a priceless drawing for a mere one hundred pounds. Bennett's monologues inspire pathos as well as laughter and sometimes even dread as evidenced in the monologue, "The Outside Dog" which features a woman who suspects her husband may be a serial killer.

Reviewed by Library Staff