Dame Harriet Walter, Jodie Comer, Tamsin Greig, Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton are among the actors appearing in a new lockdown remake of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.
The playwright’s celebrated series of 12 dramatic monologues will air on the BBC, led by director and long-time Bennett collaborator Nicholas Hytner, as well as a number of other celebrated directors including Josie Rourke, Marianne Elliott and Jeremy Herrin.
All will be filmed using existing sets at Elstree studios adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, and will be directed over video link. They will air in the coming months.
Two new monologues will be added to replace those that required actors at risk due to age.
The monologues first aired on the BBC in 1988 and 1998 originally performed by Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Thora Hird and Bennett himself, to name a few.
Alan Bennett said: “In such difficult circumstances, that the BBC should choose to remount both series of Talking Heads, and produce two entirely new ones, is a comfort and a huge compliment. I hope a new generation of actors will get and give as much pleasure as we did twenty and thirty years ago.”
Hytner added: “Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads are among the masterworks of one of the very greatest writers in TV, film and theatre history. It has been a profound and fascinating experience to work out a way of making them again, this time with a company of phenomenal actors who are the equal of those who first made them; with a group of leading theatre directors, colleagues and friends of long standing; and with a team behind the camera that represents the best of the British TV and film industries.”
Here is the full list of monologues:
Jodie Comer in Her Big Chance (1988), directed by Josie Rourke
Monica Dolan in The Shrine (2019), directed by Nicholas Hytner
Martin Freeman in A Chip in the Sugar (1988), directed byJeremy Herrin
Tamsin Greig in Nights in the Garden of Spain (1998), directed by Marianne Elliott
Sarah Lancashire in An Ordinary Woman (2019), directed by Nicholas Hytner
Lesley Manville in Bed Among the Lentils (1988), directed by Nicholas Hytner
Lucian Msamatiin Playing Sandwiches (1998), directed by Jeremy Herrin
Maxine Peake in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet (1988), directed by Sarah Frankcom
Rochenda Sandallin The Outside Dog (1998), directed by Nadia Fall
Kristin Scott Thomas in The Hand of God (1998), directed byJonathan Kent
Imelda Staunton in A Lady of Letters (1988), directed by Jonathan Kent
Harriet Walter in Soldiering On (1988), directed by Marianne Elliott
News sourced from: Evening Standard