2014 – Alan Bennett


30th January 2014

Once again, we are proud to announce the success of the 12th South Shields Annual Lecture, hosted here at Harton for the 6th time.

This year, we were delighted to welcome the award-winning dramatist and screenwriter, Alan Bennett, as the guest speaker for the event.

Bennett, best known for his dramas ‘Beyond the Fringe’, ‘The Madness of King George’ and ‘The History Boys’, wooed teachers and students alike in a pre-lecture talk, in which he answered any questions eager students had to ask about his flavoursome career.

In this, he spoke ardently about his youth, breaking into the theatre scene and shared tips with A Level English Language students on what makes a great monologue, as enthused by ‘The Talking Heads’. Bennett’s most engaging topic of conversation, however, came as he described the inspiration for his Olivier award winning ‘The Lady in the Van’, wherein he conferred his real-life encounter with a woman who resided on his driveway for fifteen years.

In the official Lecture, Bennett produced a sensational reading of extracts from his autobiographical novel ‘Untold Stories’, which seemed to thoroughly inspire the excited guests. The witty and often hilarious tales of Bennett’s life made for a fantastic evening, one that we are sure will be hard to beat at next year’s Lecture.

Nicole Hope
Harton Newsletter Editor

Video interview with Alan Bennett.

Below are some photos from the evening.