Talking Heads monologues to take centre stage at Rugby Theatre’s Fringe Week - The Rugby Observer

Talking Heads monologues to take centre stage at Rugby Theatre’s Fringe Week

Rugby Editorial 18th May, 2024   0

THREE of Alan Bennett’s iconic Talking Heads monologues will take centre stage at Rugby Theatre’s inaugural Fringe Week festival.

The monologues, which were adapted by the BBC during the pandemic starring actors such as Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire, are considered a masterpiece in storytelling.

First up is Her Big Chance, about a minor actor called Lesley who lands her dream role on a yacht – until things turn out to be not as they seem.

Director Ash Hirons said: “Her Big Chance grabbed me on first reading.

“The yearning of Lesley to be successful, and the reality she chooses not to acknowledge, is what gives the comedy its bittersweet feel.

“It is also a chance to showcase the skills of a fabulous actor in Emma Marshall, who audiences might remember from playing Ruth Ellis in Rugby Theatre’s recent production The Thrill of Love. Truly a director’s dream.”

Next up is A Chip in the Sugar, where we meet Graham Whittaker, a repressed homosexual, whose life becomes complicated when his mother encounters one of his old flames.

Steve Orton, who is directing the piece, said: “As with all the Talking Heads monologues, the writing in A Chip in the Sugar is timeless, because it is about how real people think and behave and always have done.

“The character of Graham is simultaneously touching, amusing and disturbing, and brought to life superbly by Andy MacCallum.”

The trio concludes with A Cream Cracker Under The Settee, about an ageing widow called Doris.

Director Wendy Goulstone described the piece as the most poignant and memorable of the three.

She added: “A Cream Cracker Under The Settee depicts a stage in life that we all fear, when we look back through our lives, to the good times as well as the mistakes we have made, and dread the future.

“Debbie Hibberd’s portrayal of Doris is heartbreaking, and I feel honoured to be directing this superb play.”

The plays are taking place as part of Rugby Theatre’s Fringe Week (May 18-26).

Talking Heads takes place on Tuesday (May 21) and Wednesday (May 22), with all three plays performed both nights. Visit for more information.


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