This summer, Elements Theatre Company presents a selection of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. An award-winning series of solo pieces, Talking Heads are considered a classic of contemporary drama, universally hailed for its combination of razor-sharp wit and deeply felt humanity. In Bed Among the Lentils, a vicar’s wife discovers a semblance of happiness with an Indian shop owner. A man’s life begins to unravel when he discovers his aging mother has rekindled an old flame in A Chip in the Sugar and in A Lady of Letters, a busybody pays a price for interfering in her neighbor’s life. Brilliantly funny, revealing and gritty, these three snapshots are a riveting observation of humanity in all its humor and tragedy.
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.” ― Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett is highly regarded as one of the finest playwrights in Britain. Best-known for The Madness of King George III (1991) and The History Boys (2004) it was Talking Heads, originally created for BBC Television in 1987, that earned him the first of six Laurence Olivier Awards and made him a household name.
July 31, August 1 – 2, August 7 – 9
Dinner Theatre on August 1, 7 & 8 at 6:00 p.m.
Paraclete House, Rock Harbor, MA
For tickets: call 508-240-2400
Cast & Staff
News & Reviews
News & Reviews
“Talking Heads,” Elements Theatre Company: The actors who portrayed the three lonely people in Alan Bennett’s monologues were so believable, so realistic, that at play’s end it felt a bit like waking up in another place. The actors’ British accents were flawless, but it was their understanding of their characters’ humanity that really delivered. —Cape Cod Times “Top Favorites” for 2015 Year
A Trio of TALKING HEADS at Elements Theatre Company
'Talking Heads' paints pictures with words
Elements presents Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’
From the Director
From the Director
It is our pleasure to welcome you once again to an Elements Theatre production here at the Community of Jesus. One of our founders, Mother Cay Anderson (d. 1988) had a saying: “True spirituality is reality.” In working with the monologues being presented tonight, that phrase has repeatedly come to mind.
Alan Bennett wrote this series of twelve plays over a period of time: the first six in the mid 1980s and then the second six during the following decade. These characters are amalgamations of people who populated his childhood in the north of England. Their mannerisms, their figures of speech, and their views on the world are each distinctly their own, and yet they ring with a universal truth that we all understand, even if with some discomfort. Bennett masterfully leads us into their lives without any introduction, apology, or explanation. “The monologue,” says Bennett, “is all about what’s not there. What they don’t tell you.” He knows that what is true—what is real—will communicate “spirit to spirit” with his audience. This opens the door for the character to speak and to reveal of themselves what they will . . . which they do in their own time.
Bennett’s language seems to lay out the nature of his characters in almost a skeletal form. The set design tonight picks up this idea of skeleton, with minimal cushioning or comfort. As you will see in their stories, little is present of comfort in their lives to nurture their humanity and spirit. It is my feeling that the pursuit of that comfort has each of them telling their story in his or her unique way.
Thank you for joining us.
Sr. Danielle Dwyer