Alan Bennett’s new Talking Heads: Two Besides

15 October 2020

‘Given the opportunity to revisit the characters from Talking Heads, I’ve added a couple more, both of them ordinary women whom life takes by surprise. They just about end up on top and go on, but without quite knowing why. Still, they’re in good company, and at least they’ve made it into print.’

Alan Bennett’s twelve Talking Heads monologues are acknowledged masterworks by one of our most highly acclaimed writers. Some thirty years after the original six, Bennett has written two new monologues, published here for the first time. 

In An Ordinary Woman, a mother suffers the inevitable consequences when she makes life intolerable for herself and her family by falling for her own flesh and blood. The Shrine introduces us to Lorna, the bereft partner of a dedicated biker with a surprising private life. 

The two new Talking Heads were recorded for the BBC during the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Sarah Lancashire and Monica Dolan. 

Two Besides is out now from all good bookshops.

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