The first show of our new 2016-2017 season is the hilarious ‘Habeas Corpus’ by Alan Bennett.
While still studying History at Oxford, Bennett started out writing and performing satirical sketches in ‘Beyond the Fringe’ with the likes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. He has said that at this time he thought he would end up as a vicar – for no better reason than he looked like one. Thankfully for British theatre, he quickly found his calling as a writer and performer, but he has always been happier, and some may say more successful, as the former.
Alan Bennett is now generally accepted as a ‘National Treasure’: perhaps his best known play currently is ‘The Lady in the Van’ which was made into a box office hit film starring Dame Maggie Smith, and was famously based on his real life experience of having a female tramp living in her van on his driveway. The Apollo Players, incidentally, staged ‘Lady in the Van’ in February 2014 with great success. He is also very well known for ‘The History Boys’, ‘the Madness of King George’ and a string of other plays, alongside his famous ‘Talking Heads’ series of monologues, and of course his laugh-out-loud autobiographical books.
Anyone who has seen any of Bennett’s work will know he has an original, satirical and always entertaining style: ‘Habeas Corpus’ is one of his early plays, dating from 1973, but it stands the test of time well, for its subject matter is ageless, and a good old-fashioned farce with mistaken identities, seaside postcard-style humour and exaggerated characters is always popular. It is a testament to the quality of the play that it has been regularly staged ever since it was written.
Following on from ‘Allo ‘Allo! which completely sold out every night of its run, this is likely to be another very popular show, so our advice is to book your seats early to avoid disappointment: tickets are now available online here: http://www.apollo-theatre.org.uk/habeas-corpus/