Alan Bennett’s theatrical range extends well beyong the dour, domestic Talking Heads monologues that have become his trademark. First performed in 1973 with the likes of Alex Guiness, Patricia Hayes and Phyllida Law creating the roles, Heabeas Corpus (which essentially means “have the body”) is a manic and stylized examination of our fascination with marriage, sex, lust (love doesn’t get much of a look in) and our own morality.
Alan Bennett writes, “It was an attempt to write a farce without the paraphernalia of farce - hiding places, multipliex exits, umpteen doors. Trousers fall, it is true, but in an instantaneous way as if by divine intervention. Habeas Corpus is a favourite of mine if only because it’s one of the few times I’ve tried to write a naturalistic play…There are plenty of good arts - henpecked husband, frustrated wife, lecherous curate, ubiquitous char - and everyone is slightly larger than life. “
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