Alan Bennett skewers UK National Trust in latest play
There’s nothing the theatre-going middle classes like more than being abused. So they should be rushing to watch Alan Bennett attack their favourite institution – the National Trust – in his new play, People.
The text is as yet unpublished, but Bennett has provided a summary in an article for the London Review of Books. The play was sparked off by his irritation at going round National Trust houses and being required to play up to the role of reverential visitor. He was particularly annoyed by the guides who come up to you, unbidden, when you’re looking at pictures or furniture.
Bennett often gets his laughs by exposing uncomfortable truths. He did it with The History Boys – which skewered history teachers and TV dons for placing titillating, untrue theories above dull historical truth. And now he’s doing it with the National Trust.
And the thing is, he’s right. It’s not just the guides – though I, too, have sprinted through agonisingly lovely rooms in National Trust houses, so as not to be collared by the officials, who painstakingly take you through the genealogy of the eighth earl, and describe the seven Canalettos he bought on the Grand Tour. It’s their whole approach....
comments powered by Disqus
- Roman Gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank a tonic of ashes after training
- Massachusetts is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the wedding of John and Abigail Adams
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- 2 conservative groups are leading the fight against the new AP standards
- The secret of successful history departments
- AHA president suggests older historians should consider making way for younger historians
- Niall Ferguson Joins Schwarzman Scholars as Distinguished Visiting Professor in China
- Francis Fukuyama is still bullish on where history is headed, but Americans should worry: republics can decay.