Somerset Moviola, BFI Neighbourhood Cinema and the Nunney Village Hall Committee present The Lady in the Van, on Friday 8 April at Nunney village hall.
The Lady in the Van is a 2015 British comedy-drama film directed by Nicholas Hytner, written by Alan Bennett, and starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent and Frances de la Tour.
The principal cast of the film of Bennett’s The History Boys, appear in cameo roles, with the exception of De la Tour, who has a more prominent role in the film, and Richard Griffiths, who died in 2013.
The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her temporarily to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home. She stayed there for 15 years.
As the story develops Bennett learns that Miss Shepherd is really Margaret Fairchild (died 1989), a former gifted pupil of the pianist Alfred Cortot.
She had played Chopin in a promenade concert, tried to become a nun, was committed to an institution by her brother, escaped, had an accident when her van was hit by a motorcyclist for which she believed herself to blame, and thereafter lived in fear of arrest.
Maggie Smith previously portrayed Shepherd twice: in the original 1999 theatrical production, which earned her a Best Actress nomination at the 2000 Olivier Awards, and in the 2009 BBC Radio 4 adaptation.
Hytner directed the original stage production at the Queen’s Theatre in London, while Bennett adapted the screenplay from his 1999 West End play of the same name, which was nominated at the 2000 Olivier Awards for Play of the Year.
The Lady in the Van has a U rating. A U film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over. However, it is impossible to predict what might upset a particular child, especially at this lower end of the category range.
The Lady in the Van is shown at Nunney Village Hall on Friday 8 April at 7.30pm. Door open at 7.00pm. Seats cannot be reserved, so please come early.
Tickets cost £5.00 in advance at the SPAR shop in Nunney or £6.00 on the door. A licensed bar and ice creams will be available.
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