Must see: People, NT: Lyttelton, London SE1
The nation's trust deserved by an acutely preserved wit
Saturday 17 November 2012
Questions about the purpose of preservation are raised in Alan Bennett's highly entertaining new play, which takes an outrageously funny swipe at the National Trust.
Frances de la Tour's splendid Dorothy – peeress, ex-model, recluse – is as grand and down-at-heel as the decaying country house in South Yorkshire where she lives with her lower-class companion Iris (Linda Bassett).
Dorothy's brisk sister (Selina Cadell) wants to hand the place over to the trust, but Dorothy rents out the hall to a porn film company, whose shoot of Reach for the Thigh is the farcical high point of Nicholas Hytner's well-judged production.
Elsewhere, there is spirited knockabout in the contest over values between Dorothy and a National Trust man who, in Nicholas le Prevost's amusing performance, is all bristling enthusiasm for widened access. Bennett's talents for challenging cosy English complacencies are in a healthy state of preservation.
(020 7452 3000; nationaltheatre.org.uk) to 2 April
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees