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The Complete Talking Heads Radio/TV Program

The Complete Talking Heads: The classic BBC Radio 4 monologues plus A Woman of No Importance

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Publisher's Summary

The complete audio collection of Alan Bennett's celebrated monologues, published together for the first time and performed by some of Britain's best actors.

The Talking Heads monologues are widely regarded as one of Alan Bennett's finest dramatic achievements. First broadcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 4 in the 1980s and 1990s, they won a host of awards and huge popular acclaim and remain among his most admired works today.

This collection includes all twelve Talking Heads, plus the precursor of that series, 'A Woman of No Importance'.

Beautifully crafted and full of compassion and wry observation, each tale is ripe with the quirky, insightful detail that has become Bennett's trademark. The monologues are: 'A Woman of No Importance' (Patricia Routledge); 'A Chip in the Sugar' (Alan Bennett); 'A Lady of Letters' (Patricia Routledge); 'Bed Among the Lentils' (Anna Massey); 'Soldiering On' (Stephanie Cole); 'Her Big Chance' (Julie Walters); 'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee' (ThoraHird); 'Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet' (Patricia Routledge); 'The Hand of God' (Eileen Atkins); 'Playing Sandwiches' (David Haig); 'The Outside Dog' (Julie Walters); 'Nights in the Gardens of Spain' (Penelope Wilton) and 'Waiting for the Telegram' (Thora Hird).

Intensely moving, deeply engrossing and highly entertaining, these spellbinding soliloquies are essential listening.

©2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (181 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Laura 01/01/2016
    Laura 01/01/2016
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    "Bleak but brilliant!"

    Fantastic writing read so well, so much of the story is in what is not said but it's easy to read between the lines. Don't listen when you are feeling down though as it may finish you off!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fiona 25/11/2015
    fiona 25/11/2015 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastic"

    Great stories read by wonderful actors.I loved all of them.Very touching but also very funny.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom 04/03/2016
    Patricia Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom 04/03/2016 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant"

    Wonderful moving stories. Brilliant Alan Bennett. Will listen to it again and Oder copies for my friends

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stig Sadler 10/02/2016
    Stig Sadler 10/02/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Hours of entertainment !"

    A great collection of funny , insightful and touching stories. As only Alan Bennett can do !

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Fiona Jones 07/02/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "loved these stories"
    What made the experience of listening to The Complete Talking Heads the most enjoyable?

    I loved the different readers and the stories were very engaging. I was inspired to listen to these monologues after seeing the Alan Bennett film ' lady in the van'


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Margaret in the 'Woman of no importance '


    Have you listened to any of Alan Bennett and Patricia Routledge ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I enjoyed others but this was my favourite


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Will listen to more Alan Bennett plays

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Birmingham, United Kingdom 07/11/2016
    Steven Birmingham, United Kingdom 07/11/2016 Member Since 2012
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    "brilliant"

    fantastuc storys from the time.
    geeat naration fully recommended
    at his best ..great if a modern version was available

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sheila cucknell 08/10/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent Bennett"

    Never ,ever ,get tired of listening to these wonderful monologues . I know them from the eighties and they never fail to delight . A real treat to listen to .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07/10/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Genius"

    I'm addicted I listen to them over and over again!! A perfect audio book. The actors are some of the best in the UK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. N. Croft uk 13/09/2016
    G. N. Croft uk 13/09/2016 Member Since 2016

    duckdown

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    "Timeless"

    Wonderful short stories acted and read by some of the best actors of our time
    Alan Bennett manages to allow you to come to your own conclusions while observing life warts and all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. E. Cree Bristol, UK 11/09/2016
    C. E. Cree Bristol, UK 11/09/2016 Member Since 2014

    sereph

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    "A masterclass in acting and monologue writing!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Complete Talking Heads the most enjoyable?

    The writing is sublime, a perfect bittersweet blend of wry humour, domestic life and what keeps people going when everything else falls apart. The acting is excellent, this should be the gold standard for narration, every actor performed brilliantly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Complete Talking Heads?

    Bed among the Lentils is a wonderful story as Susan is funny, dry, witty and rueful while remaining real. You'll wish you could find out what happens next in her life.

    A lady of letters is also a stand out, a character who should not be at all appealing but who still makes you warm to her.


    What does Alan Bennett and Patricia Routledge bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The acting is excellent, perfectly balanced without being unrealistic or unsympathetic. Some of the characters are not such nice people but Alan Bennett still makes you empathise with them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, these are very easy to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • paula
    UNDERHILL, VT, United States
    19/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing"

    The performances on these plays are top notch, every one.
    The stories themselves are depressing and sad. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and real but maybe a little too real.
    I'll only listen to the rest if I need a good cry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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