Geoffrey Nelson’s production of the Alan Bennett comedy-drama Talking Heads for A Portable Theatre recently premiered with performances at the BalletMet Performance Space in downtown Columbus, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Clintonville and at the Abbey Theater of Dublin (a preview performance was given at the Franklin Park Conservatory near Bexley this past summer).
Featuring veteran Equity actresses Linda Dorff, Kerry Shanklin and Anne Diehl, Talking Heads includes three of the twelve monologues playwright Bennett originally wrote for BBC Television in the late 1980’s and 1990’s under the same title.
“Waiting for the Telegram” is about Violet (Dorff), a very elderly woman who has suffered a stroke and is now recuperating in a nursing home. While she has lost some of her memory, Violet has lost none of her wicked sense of humor.
“A Lady of Letters” is about Miss Roddick (Shanklin), a middle-aged recluse who writes one poison-pen letter too many.
“Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet” is about a middle-aged and somewhat prim department store saleswoman (Diehl) whose uneventful life takes an unexpected turn when she visits a new chiropodist, Mr. Dunderdale.
All three pieces are laced with humor, but are also poignant and provocative. Talking Heads has been successfully performed both on London’s West End (twice) and for a long Off-Broadway run in New York. The plays have won numerous awards and have been performed all over the English-speaking world. Following the premiere, Heads will be available for tour bookings from APT.