Yorkshire playwright, diarist and raconteur who openly detests his oft-applied sobriquet of "national treasure"...
in 1934, the son of a Leeds butcher, Alan Bennett gained a scholarship to Oxford
and prepared himself for a career as a medieval historian. However, Bennett
soon discovered that he had thespian tendencies and became increasingly active
in local stage productions and revues. Bennett achieved fame and notoriety in
1960 when he appeared in Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and
Jonathan Miller. Throughout the 1960s Bennett continued to write for (and occasionally
appear in) satirical sketch-based shows, but his real passion was drama and
during the 1970s he made a name for himself as a playwright.
Bennett's wistful, melancholy style and fine ear for the nuances of Northern,
working-class speech have transformed him from an enfant terrible into a national
treasure ( a sobriquet he detests) and when he published his diaries in the mid-nineties, they topped
the bestseller lists. He followed up with another set of diaries in 2005, which proved equally popular, and in Autumn 2006, a successful adaptation of his play, The History Boys, was released as a film. Bennett's work also adapts exceptionally well to the audiobook format, and he is perhaps the single most successful British writer and performer in that format.
Name: Alan Bennett
Date of birth: 1934
Place of birth: Leeds
Current Home: Camden, London
Education: St Catherine's College, Oxford
Similar Authors: Bernard MacLaverty, Alan Sillitoe, Melvyn Bragg