Alan Bennett's Monologues as Dramas

Alan Bennett's Monologues as Dramas

Length: 1212 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Alan Bennett's Monologues as Dramas


These plays are written for TV rather than theatre and are
experimental for different styles of acting with more emphasis being
placed on the single actors face. This is in order to show subtle
changes in expressions hopefully giving the viewer a more clear
insight into the characters feelings. This is more appropriate for "A
Cream Cracker…" as it is a moving story, which is portrayed, even more
so in the subtle movement of Doris's face "Cracked the photo. We're
cracked, Wilfred." Doris has cracked her wedding photo to her late
husband Wilfred, the sadness being emphasized not only through her
voice but through facial expressions is far more effective. It also
works well in "Her Big Chance" as the falseness of Leslie comes across
through her trying to be professional and the false gestures and
expressions she puts into doing this. "Are you on the cans because id
like some direction on this point." Here Leslie is an extra on the
daytime soap Crossroads and is asking for direction on the simplest of
parts, in order to suggest that she is professional so that she might
get a call back. While putting this across to the viewers she uses
gestures suggesting that Rex is not as professional and devoted to the
job as her.

In these plays there is only a single actor/actress in these cases
"Leslie" and "Doris" with all the other characters seen through the
eyes of the main character. This does not give us the chance to have
our own opinions about the other characters but gives us the views and
opinions of the main character. This is useful on both plays as
although it tells us less about sub characters it tells us a lot more
about "Leslie" and "Doris" and their feelings about the people around
them. "I've a feeling Scott may be gay" Leslie suggests this as he is
the only man, to date, involved in the film who has not attempted to
take advantage of her naivety. This tells us of how she is naive and
finds herself extremely attractive, as the first man who doesn't make
a sexual advance towards her is labeled gay. "Zulema doesn't dust. She
half-dusts." From this we learn that Doris takes pride in her home and
likes it spick and span, also that she thinks she is able to live
alone and does not need home help. It also tells us a bit about
Zulema, that she is not fully devoted to her work as the dusting is
only half done.

Both actresses portray the characters very well and make them both

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Alan Bennett's Monologues as Dramas." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Mar 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=102668>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Lady of Letters and Cream Cracker under the Settee by Alan Bennett Essay

- "A Lady of Letters" and "Cream Cracker under the Settee" by Alan Bennett The two monologues I am going to be writing about are two elderly women who are lonely and trapped in their own homes. I will be talking about how Doris, one lady from 'Cream cracker under the settee' and Irene, the other lady in 'Lady of letters' are suffering from loneliness. Doris and Irene both live alone. They don't seem to have any special friends. For example, Irene doesn't like being people calling her Irene. People who come across Irene must call her Miss.Ruddock; nobody has called her Irene since her mother died....   [tags: Alan Bennett Monologue Settee Essays]

Research Papers
1863 words (5.3 pages)

Alan Bennett's Talking Heads Essay

- Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" "Talking heads" by Alan Bennett is a collection of monologues in which the audience are showed into the life of a character and given an insight into the character's personality and situation.peoples lives are portrayed in comic ways leaving the audience feeling sympathy and guilt for the character in laughing at their misfortune. Monologues are a long speech made by one person. This style of script is really effective and has a powerful effect on the audience. These monologues were written for television broadcasting, programmes presented in this way are put under the genre of tragi-comedy....   [tags: Alan Bennett Talking Heads Essays]

Research Papers
1801 words (5.1 pages)

Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues Essay

- Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues Introduction A monologue is a play with a single performer. The word monologue is of Greek origin and comes from mono-logos. Mono means 'word of one person' and logos means 'voice' hence monologue, 'one voice'. Alan Bennett's work is impressive and his understanding of characterization is second to none. He has an ability to capture the life- styles and backgrounds of the characters he creates. The language of each character brings forward clichés that can be humorous although in my view this might not have been always intentional....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
3094 words (8.8 pages)

Essay on Alan Bennett-writer of these monologues was born in 1934 in Yorkshire

- Alan Bennett-writer of these monologues was born in 1934 in Yorkshire but spent most of his adult life in London. Alan Bennett-writer of these monologues-was born in 1934 in Yorkshire but spent most of his adult life in London. Although he was aware of two cultures much of his writing reflects the northern characters and views of his youth and the British way of life. Bennett called these monologues accounts of "ordinary, uneventful, desperate lives." Sometimes called "gossip as Drama" because of the intimacy of the television screen....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
748 words (2.1 pages)

A Sense of Tragedy and Humour in alan Bennett's Talking Heads Monologues

- A Sense of Tragedy and Humour in alan Bennett's Talking Heads Monologues Alan Bennett uses a variety of techniques to convey a sense of both tragedy and humour in his 'Talking Heads' monologues. I will be looking specifically at 'Bed Among The Lentils' and 'Cream Cracker Under The Settee.' Alan Bennett achieves both of these effects by use of several clever choices regarding the casting as well as sound and visual effects. There are two very different types of humour in 'Bed Among The Lentils' and 'Cream Cracker Under The Settee'....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
899 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Alan Bennett Talking Heads

- Alan Bennett Talking Heads In Bennett's monologues the main character faces an important decision which will affect the course of their lives. I will go on and explain in this essay, the play writer's use of literary techniques - including setting, theme and characterisation- which may make the decision seem correct or not. Talking Heads was originally produced for BBC television but has recently been used as a collection of short stories. Each of the characters portrayed, is played by an actress that has been previously associated with Alan Bennett e.g.:Thora Hird who plays Doris worked on a BBC Radio 4 programme - Deadringers .It is safe to say that Alan Bennett tailored some of the mater...   [tags: English Literature]

Research Papers
1562 words (4.5 pages)

Born in Yorkshire in 1934, Alan Bennett. Essays

- Born in Yorkshire in 1934, Alan Bennett. Born in Yorkshire in 1934, Alan Bennett has been writing, performing and directing since his first theatrical encounters as a student at Oxford in the early 1960's. He first gained success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and later, in collaboration with Dudley Moore, Peter Cooke and Jonathan Miller, enjoyed considerable acclaim with the original Beyond the Fringe. (www.museum.tv. Accessed 26/01/03) Alan Bennett is the archetypal Northerner, his bespeckled, dour appearance make him an unlikely celebrity and he would not look out of place as a slightly muddled professor or, as Bennett himself observes, a vicar....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
2454 words (7 pages)

Miss Fozzard in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads Essay

- Miss Fozzard in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads The video, “Talking Heads Two” was made in 1998. It is a collection of six dramatic monologues by various different actors, each one telling their own story. Bennett wrote a series of monologues in 1988 for BBC 2 at a time when they were having financial difficulties. Monologues were chosen as they only required a few actors and cameramen. They were successful and Bennett decided to write a second series of monologues, the one which I am going to study is called “Miss Fozzard finds her feet” and I will be discussing how Alan Bennett creates her character and how her story is told....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1909 words (5.5 pages)

The Style of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads Essay examples

- The Style of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads Bennett states in his introduction that "forms....dictate themselves" and that material demands to be "written in a particular way and no other". Each of the characters, according to the author has a "single point of view" and none is "telling the whole story". He says that his characters are "artless" and "don't quite know what they are saying". It is true that this is so. We, the listeners, can make conjectures about all of them. Graham's ambiguous sexuality, Susan's alcoholism and Muriel's perverted husband are not revealed directly through any statements made to us....   [tags: Talking Heads]

Free Essays
477 words (1.4 pages)

Alan Bennett's A Cream Cracker Under The Settee Essay

- Alan Bennett's A Cream Cracker Under The Settee Alan Bennett's purpose in writing "A Cream Cracker Under The Settee" is to highlight the problems old people face. He points out that obsession with hygiene can be destructive "I never should have tried to dust." Everytime the old lady cleans she gets into trouble. He criticises society for neglecting the old "Home help. Home hindrance." Years ago people used to respect the old, look up to them. But now they get swept under the carpet and forgotten about....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1126 words (3.2 pages)

unique and likable. Doris is likable due to her simple ness and we
automatically feel sympathy for her as she lives alone and is unable
to do many things herself, therefore Zulema is employed to do the
housework but that still doesn't get done to Doris's standards. Alan
Bennett has used pathos here to show us how hard it is for old people
to manage everyday things while living on their own. Leslie is
likeable as she is humorous without meaning to be, she also tends to
make a fool of herself towards the viewers and her co-workers. "I' not
used to working like this" Leslie is comparing the provisions and the
time she is left sitting around to a major film 'Tess', as far as we
know this is the only major film she has worked on. She was an extra
and named her single scene character with no lines, 'Chloe'.

In these plays the actors are talking directly to the viewer but the
viewer is not involved in the conversation instead is more like an
eavesdropper on the actor who is talking to herself. This could be
incorrect as there are several pauses in the story, which could be
there for the audience to reply. This could be were the drama is
involved, with the viewers ability to interact with the actor as such.
The drama could also be with the single actor playing the parts of
several characters as they recall what had happened and the
conversations that they had involvement in. " 'you look an interesting
person. I'm interested in interesting people. Hello.' He said,
'Hello.' " Leslie is talking us through the conversation she had with
'Spud', which shows that interaction can take place with only one
person on screen.

These stories could have been performed in a more traditional manner
using a full cast and having flashbacks acted out in order to give a
more in depth view to what happened as opposed to the actor giving us
their view. A problem with this is that almost every drama is
performed like this and the idea of one character telling us about the
events is original and gives us a different perspective to look at.
These dramas could also be made for a next to nothing budget with one
actor, simple backgrounds and no props to pay for.

With one actor on screen we are forced to pay attention to them, which
helps us to pay more attention to the story that is being told, as sub
characters are not constantly intruding upon the scene. We also get
one persons view on the whole event, which makes it easier to
understand, as there is no overlaps in personality. "She's not half
done this place, Zulema." If Zulema were actually on stage she could
argue her case and our concentration would no longer be on the story
but we would be focused on the intrusive argument.

From just 30 minutes of viewing a single character we can learn a lot
about them, more so than if other characters were involved. We know
that Doris is extremely hygiene conscious through her experiences with
Zulema, we know that her husband Wilfred is dead and she misses him a
lot as she mentions him a lot through out the story. "Wilfred was
always hankering after a dog." Wilfred is brought into the story at
every opportunity. We also know she is unable to completely look after
herself and needs home help which she is not entirely happy about. We
know that Leslie is in her early 30's and lives on her own in a flat.
We know she is a part time actress who would take almost any part that
comes along. We know she is willing to learn various skills for
particular parts and is extremely enthusiastic. "I'm very happy to
learn both chess and water-skiing," We also know she is extremely
gullible and naïve "I am wedded to my small charges" Kenny 'the animal
holder' makes Leslie believe he wouldn't sleep with her in order to
get her to his room, to see a cat, by saying this.

I thought the two dramas worked incredibly well and was surprised that
I found them both enjoyable and interesting. It was a welcome change
to see the dramas acted out this way as opposed to the conventional
way of several actors playing out the occurrences. I found myself more
emotionally involved as the emotions being acted out by the characters
were clearer. As a compliment to Alan Bennett I would very much like
to see the other two 'Talking Heads' plays.
Return to 123HelpMe.com