The Habit of Art

By Alan Bennett

Synopsis

Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, "Death in Venice", seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for nearly twenty years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station.

Year of Publication

Author Biography

Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for stage including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George), and an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. At the National Theatre, London, The History Boys won numerous awards including Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play, an Olivier for Best New Play and the South Bank Award. On Broadway, The History Boys won five New York Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics' Award, a New York Drama League Award and six Tonys. The Habit of Art opened at the National in 2009 and People in 2012, together with two short plays, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks. His collection of prose Untold Stories won the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography, 2006. Recent works of fiction are The Uncommon Reader and Smut: Two Unseemly Stories.