By Alan Bennett

A set of 4 Alan Bennett performs, with an advent through the writer which describes the heritage to their writing and function.

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Extra resources for Alan Bennett Plays 1: Forty Years On, Getting On, Habeas Corpus and Enjoy

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112 Resurrection opened at His Majesty’s on 17 February 1903, with Tree as Prince Dmitry and Ashwell as Katusha. 114 Again Ashwell was featured on postcards depicting scenes from the play. Katusha gave her the opportunity to demonstrate the extensive boundaries of her art. We know her as the falsehearted butterfly of society, with padded movements and purring, lying tongue, such … as she played in Wheels within Wheels. We have seen her display great power in ‘strong’ scenes … in Othello, but never before have we seen her as an abandoned, drunken ‘fille de joie’.

55. 10 The Pharisee, by Malcolm Watson and Mrs (Ellen) Lancaster-Wallis, ran for a two-week Easter holiday season. ). That Dreadful Doctor was a comedietta by Charles Young given in a special matinee at the Opera Comique in July 1891, on the same bill as Dan Leno, Vesta Tilley and Arthur Playfair. This play also toured to Cambridge and Oxford. It was through Malcolm Watson that Ashwell was engaged by Arthur Bourchier for this production. Her nervousness prompted his advice, ‘You are a very NICE little girl, but take my advice and give it up’ (Ashwell, Myself a Player, 58).

William Archer thought the role unsuitable for her: ‘It demands brightness, versatility, even volatility of expression, whereas Miss Ashwell’s gift lies rather in the direction of suppressed intensity of feeling. ’9 The Tatler thought it ‘a showy piece made for Madame Réjane who is essentially a comedienne. Now among many excellences Miss Ashwell’s forte is not comedy. ’10 Other reviewers agreed that Ashwell was ‘incapable of playing comedy … Her voice, her appearance, her manner, her atmosphere – all strike the note of tragedy.

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