The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith, was one of the film hits of 2015 – now the Guildburys Theatre Company is bringing the original play, complete with real van, to Guildford.
The production, which will be performed from Wednesday 3rd – Saturday 6th May 2017, marks the company’s return to the Electric Theatre after sell-out shows of Tom Stoppard’s On The Razzle in November 2016.
When Mary Shepherd parked her home on a street in a trendy part of London, no-one knew what to expect. The neighbours complained, but one took a particular interest and invited her to move her van onto his driveway where she remained for 15 years until her death in 1989. That neighbour was the renowned playwright Alan Bennett.
Through her escapades, from her letter to the Argentinian Embassy at the height of the Falklands War to her attempts to stand for Parliament, Alan Bennett discovers Miss Shepherd’s fascinating history.
Director, Eddie Woolrich, said: “If you enjoyed the film, or even if you haven’t seen it, then come and see the original stage version.”
“The play is surprisingly funny, tender and beautifully observed and is one I have wanted to direct for some time. It poses some technical challenges for the production team, most of all getting a van on stage, but we’ve now tracked one down and are recreating the home in which Miss Shepherd lived for decades.”