Alan Bennett’s Battles with a Lady Tramp Hits the Dolman Stage

The true story of what happened when a female tramp parked her dilapidated old van in writer Alan Bennett’s front garden unfolds on the stage of the Dolman Theatre from 17th – 21st April.

Lady in the Van

Kevin Myers and Alex Wilson as two different sides of playwright Alan Bennett wheel Miss Shepherd (Ruth Ferguson) round the garden (PHOTO:PHIL MANSELL)

The acclaimed play ‘The Lady in the Van’ is the latest production by Newport Playgoers. It tells how Bennett deals with the two elderly women in his life – the indomitable Miss Shepherd who takes up his invitation to park her van in his garden and stays there for 15 years, and his mother who has started her long decline into senility.

Directed by Ray Stone, this wonderfully witty drama is based on Bennett’s memories and asks whether the playwright’s good deeds in helping these two ladies are borne out of guilt, altruism or a mercenary eye for a good story.

The play also excels in revealing the two sides of Bennett – Alan the man and Alan the writer – in an ingenious device that lets the two sides of Bennett’s personality interact.

Lady in the Van

Kevin Myers as Alan Bennett and Ann Kelly as his Mam (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The Lady in the Van’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 17 – 21 April. Tickets can be booked by phoning the box office on 01633 263670 or visiting

Lady in the Van

Miss Shepherd (Ruth Ferguson) is given a push in her infamous van by Alan Bennett (Alex Wilson) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

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