A Lady of Letters.

Authors Avatar

A Lady of Letters.

A Lady of Letters is a 20th century drama, which is by the writer Alan Bennett. Alan Bennett was an English writer and actor born in Leeds on the 9th May 1934. Alan Bennett gained a first-class degree in history, which was from Exeter College in Oxford. In August of 1960 Alan Bennett achieved his first fame by appearing at the Edinburgh festival in the revue of beyond the fringe. Since that time he has become one of England’s most famous and well-loved playwrights.  Like A Lady of Letters most of his plays are about normal people living normal lives in England and many of them are monologues.

This play is a monologue, which means all the dialogue in the play is spoken by one person. In a monologue all of the drama is produced by the way the lines are spoken and all the attention of the audience is focused on the person saying them.  The story is all about one character and their experiences through their eyes.  This is hard for the actress because she hasn’t got any one else to depend on and she has to learn all of the lines her self. She hasn’t got any one to get cues from when doing the play. She has got all of the audience looking at her so she has got to use a lot of expression to keep it interesting. It needs a lot of non-verbal expression, that is body language and facial expressions, to help the character come alive. Also the scenery is important and the appearance of the actress because the atmosphere has to be right so it portrays the right feeling.

This drama is about a lady, Miss Ruddock, who is writing letters to people, which are always complaining about something.  Miss Ruddock is described as an ordinary middle-aged woman in the stage directions.  She lives on her own after her mother has died.  She has traditional values, for example she writes her letters using Basildon Bond paper and a fountain pen “I take out my trusty Platignam”.  She is lonely, so lonely that she goes to someone’s funeral that she hardly knows just to get out of the house “At least it’s an outing”.  She is nosy because she doesn’t have anything going on in her life – “I se we’ve got a new couple moved in opposite”.  The way Miss Ruddock looks isn’t made very clear in the play, but it says that see wears a hat and coat in the stage directions and also in the play the policeman says “you’d better get you hat and coat on.”. We know she wears glasses because the optician writes to her.  From the things she says and does I imagine that she takes care of her appearance she wears makeup and does her hair nice. If we knew what sort clothes that she wears I wound say that they wound be plain, functional and be natural colours because this goes with her traditional image and she talks about her “little maroon coat”.  

Join now!

The importance of casting the right actress for the role is, that you need someone that can portray the character that they are playing so the audience can feel what it is like to be Miss Ruddock. They need to be able to bring out her feelings and emotions and make them feel and look real. In this play I think that the person who plays Miss Ruddock should be Maggie Smith. I think she would be good for the role because she has already been in one of Alan Bennett’s play, ‘The Lady in the Van’. I think ...

This is a preview of the whole essay