The Habit of Art

by  Alan Bennett

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 1f

Actors are rehearsing a play called Caliban's Day at the National Theatre about Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera Death in Venice, who is seeking advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden.…

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The Habit of Art

by  Alan Bennett

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 1f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Actors are rehearsing a play called Caliban's Day at the National Theatre about Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera Death in Venice, who is seeking advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting in 1973, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station.
Alan Bennett's play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion's spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.

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Reviews

"...the play has the characteristic Bennett mix of wit and wistfulness." - The Guardian, Read more

"The Habit of Art is another absolute cracker, often wonderfully and sometimes filthily funny... but also deeply and unexpectedly moving." - The Telegraph, Read more

"... a multi-layered masterpiece... hilariously provocative... " - The Independent, Read more

Keywords

Memory, Politics

Considerations

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £67 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

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Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Setting: A college study
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

6m, 1f
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Resources

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Authors

Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett was born in Leeds in 1934. After studying at Oxford University he collaborated as a writer and performer with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in Beyond the Fringe in 1960 at the Edinburgh Festival. He then turned to writing full time and produced his first stage play Forty Years On in 1968. ...

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