The Habit of Art, National Theatre Live (Encore), Cinema City, Norwich. November 2013.
After seeing a few plays by Alan Bennett, and always feeling slightly annoyed that the original History Boys passed me by, I was really pleased when the National Theatre announced that they'd be broadcasting The Habit of Art as part of their 50th birthday celebrations.
Once more I went in without knowing anything about the play but as ever this didn't matter because the story was totally accessible and the plot comprehensible. I quite like plays within plays and so from the off I was predisposed to like this one I suppose.
Like everything Alan Bennett writes this was very funny, very rude and very sly - I don't think I've laughed so much in public since I saw Noises Off! There wasn't quite the poignancy in the script as in more recent Bennett works, but that was provided by seeing the late Richard Griffiths on stage. I do wish that I'd seen him in something live before he died - c'est la vie.
This was a great way to spend a cold, wet winter Monday and I am really pleased how many NTLive performances (as well as those from the RSC and Donmar Warehouse) have already been announced for 2014. Much as I like going to London seeing fabulous things like this in Norwich is a real treat.