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A different Habit

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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
A different Habit#1
Posted: 3/2/10 at 5:29pm
No, nothing to do with "Sister Act".

I finally got to see Alan Bennett's "The Habit of Art" at The National Theatre this afternoon, and what a joy it was! I was especially jammy because I managed to get a return for only 10.

On paper it could sound quite stuffy; a theatre company rehearse a play in which is imagined a meeting between W H Auden and Benjamin Britten - doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, does it? But, thanks to Bennett's typical witty wordplay, top-notch performances all 'round and the inclusion of Auden and Britten's biographer (who worries that he's merely a 'device') and a handsome, young rent boy, the play is quite the most hilarious one I've seen in some time.

It's fairly obvious that, in his old age, Alan Bennett doesn't care what anyone thinks about him any longer, resulting in much earthier, more frank and honest comedy. Strangely, he contradicts this somewhat in the article he wrote for the programme in which he bemoans the lack of post-'68 theatre censorship.

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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
A different Habit#2
Posted: 3/2/10 at 5:34pm
Thats exactly what I've been thinking about his latter work.
Glad you enjoyed it. How was Ms. La tour?
They are looking for a West End house for a 12 week season.
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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
A different Habit#2
Posted: 3/2/10 at 6:01pm
She was great, although vastly underused. She did deliver some of the funniest lines and helped set up many others.
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Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
A different Habit#3
Posted: 3/2/10 at 6:04pm
OOo West End really? I thought they were just extending at the National with a new cast. I know it's doing some major touring later in the year.

I loved this, gonna go back soon hopefully.
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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
A different Habit#4
Posted: 3/2/10 at 6:08pm
The West End if it happens will be after the tour and they are planning on this cast playing London.
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
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joined:
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A different Habit#5
Posted: 3/2/10 at 6:58pm
I've heard nothing but tepid reports. Just can't get enthusiastic for it.
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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
A different Habit#6
Posted: 3/2/10 at 7:02pm
I know, I want the dinner lady one with dame Maggie but that ain't going to happen now I'm sure.
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MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
Broadway Star
joined:
11/5/08
A different Habit#7
Posted: 3/3/10 at 10:31am
The West End if it happens will be after the tour and they are planning on this cast playing London.

"This cast" as in the current one, or the touring cast?

I loved this play when I saw it last month. Fabulous cast, the stand-out for me was Stephen Wight who was just brilliant as the rent boy. John Heffernan also very good as the ASM - I loved the (deliberately) awful verse bits he did with Frances de la Tour.
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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
A different Habit#8
Posted: 3/4/10 at 2:57am
The original National one. La Tour etc.
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MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
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A different Habit#9
Posted: 3/15/10 at 4:43pm
Desmond Barrit, the 2nd Hector in The History Boys, will once again take over from Richard Griffiths, as Fitz/Auden! No idea when, but it's on his Spotlight page. Presumably he's doing the tour and/or the return season at the NT.