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About The Lady in the Van

In 1974 Alan Bennett befriended Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric, cantankerous and rather smelly old lady. She ‘temporarily’ parked her dilapidated van outside Bennett’s London home – and stayed for 15 years.

"The Lady in the Van" is a mostly true story of the fascinating relationship between the award-winning British writer and his long-term guest. Was she a fugitive on the run? A talented pianist? A nun? Or just an old lady struggling with mental health and homelessness?

Touching, uplifting and heartbreakingly funny, "The Lady in the Van" is classic Alan Bennett. Share the fondness and frustrations of the legendary writer as he navigates life with a very peculiar tenant in this moving, bittersweet comedy.

Best-known for the celebrated 2015 film starring Maggie Smith, this incredible new stage production stars international icon Miriam Margolyes ("I’ll Eat You Last") as Miss Shepherd and Daniel Frederiksen ("Abigail’s Party") as Alan Bennett, directed by Dean Bryant ("An Ideal Husband").

Start Date

End Date

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3004

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