Alan Bennett’s sharp and hilarious new play is “Just what the doctor ordered,” (Daily Telegraph)! National Theatre Live presents “Allelujah!,” coming to Damariscotta’s Lincoln Theater, Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. in an encore presentation.
One of Britain’s best loved playwrights, Allelujah! is Bennett’s 10th collaboration with Director Nicholas Hytner. His previous works include “The History Boys,” “The Lady in the Van,” and last month’s presentation of “The Madness of King George III.” The play is punctuated with song and dance, courtesy of Arlene Phillips, known for her long career working on West End and Broadway productions, and as a former judge on “Strictly Come Dancing,” the UK version of “Dancing with the Stars.”
The play is set in the Bethlehem Hospital, affectionately known to the locals as “The Beth,” and serves a small town on the edge of the Pennines in Yorkshire. The hospital has been threatened with closure as part of an efficiency drive from central government, but the passionate staff of The Beth, led by Chairperson Salter, are campaigning to save it. Their fight is being captured by a documentary crew, keen to tell their stories and expose the truth of their situation. At the heart of the hospital is the Geriatric Ward, run by the warm and affectionate Doctor Valentine with Sister Gilchrist and Nurse Pinkney, where its eccentric group of patients have formed a choir. As the hospital’s fight continues, and the documentary crew captures their story, unexpected secrets come to light about the staff at the hospital.
Filmed live at London’s Bridge Theatre during its limited run, don’t miss Alan Bennett's latest running 2 hours and 50 minutes, with one intermission. The piece contains strong language. Tickets are $15/adults, $13/ theater members, and $5/youth 18 and under. Tickets are available in advance or starting at noon on the day of the broadcast.
And later this month, don’t miss two additional broadcasts screened at The Lincoln and telecast from National Theatre Live. “The Tragedy of King Richard the Second,” a visceral new production about the limits of power, screens live on the special day of Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m., and “I’m Not Running,” an explosive new play by David Hare screens Thursday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.
Lincoln Theater is at 2 Theater Street in Damariscotta. Visit the theater at www.lcct.org for more information.