The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

Friday, April 19, 2013

A King's Speech

In 2009 Alex recorded "A King's Speech" for BBC Radio 4. The original production, basis for the film made later, can be listened to again this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday at 11.15.

For more information check the BBC Website.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Claudia Winkleman Interview

Alex talks about Untold Stories to Claudia Winkleman in her programme on BBC Radio 2.

Check the Radio 2 Website for details.

After the broadcast the show can be downloaded as a podcast from the Podcasts page of the BBC website. The show will be available for download for 30 days after the broadcast.

Thanks again to Uli!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Untold Stories Opening Night Pictures

The Tatler has posted a series of pictures of the opening night party of "Untold Stories". The pictures can be seen at the Tatler website.

"Untold Stories" reviews

Whatsonstage gives four stars and has this to say about Alex performance:

"Jennings affectionately inhabits his subject without ever slipping into Spitting Image territory. Bennett's soft Yorkshire lilt is so often imitated that it can difficult to listen past the voice to hear the words, but Jennings makes it easy. He skilfully plays with the quartet like a fifth instrument, at times involving the musicians directly to demonstrate his stuttering early attempts as a would-be violinist."

Full review at: Whatsonstage.

Fiona Mountford writes in the London Evening Standard:

"It's all there: the tweed jacket, the red tie, the pullover, the mop of blond hair and, above all, that gloriously Eeyore-ish delivery, if Eeyore spoke with the flat northern vowels of a Leeds upbringing. It’s almost as if the splendid Alex Jennings is more Alan Bennett than Bennett himself, playing the writer in this double bill of autobiographical “recollections” that transfers to the West End after a sell-out run at the National Theatre."

She also gives the show four stars.

Full review at: London Evening Standard.

Sarah Hemming of the Financial Times also gives four stars and writes: "In essence, this delicate double bill of short plays (which shares material with his book Untold Stories ) by Alan Bennett is a trip down memory lane. But few writers undertake such journeys as well as Bennett. Played superbly by Alex Jennings, who achieves an uncanny vocal and visual likeness to Bennett, the bespectacled author wanders the stage, summoning recollections of his childhood."

Full article at: Financial Times

Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph gives five stars.

"Playing the author with sublime assurance once more is Alex Jennings. At first, in Hymn, you marvel merely at the impersonation. With fogeyish attire, blond hair and scholarly specs – a cross between schoolboy and schoolmaster – the actor almost looks the spitting image of his subject. You admire the Leeds accent and the mimicked mannerisms – the stooped gait, the gauche, hands-in-pockets delivery – but through a strange alchemy, this ceases to be an affectionate tribute act and it’s as if you’re in the presence of the man himself."

Full review at: Telegraph.

Kate Bassett of the Independent gives four stars and writes: "Nonetheless, he is a much-loved figure, and Jennings's impersonation is a delight – almost unnervingly spot-on. Bespectacled, with short back and sides, he captures Bennett's lilting and slightly bunged-up intonation without caricaturing. He leans forward fractionally at the ankles, flaps a hand inside his tweedy jacket pocket, or sinks into an armchair with his fingers interlaced over his chest."

Full review at: The Independent.

Peter Brown at gives five stars and says: "Mr Jennings brilliantly captures Mr Bennett's vocal characteristics, getting a laugh even with the first phrase he delivers. But he also bears a striking resemblance in terms of his physical appearance – the blond hair, glasses, the sports jacket with the inevitable jumper snuggling underneath, the tie, the slacks and tan brogues. It is the never-changing, sensible wardrobe of a neat librarian rather than a world-renowned author and playwright."

Full review at: LondonTheatre.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

RIchard Griffiths

After the press night of "Untold Stories" at the Duchess Theatre last night Alex remembered Richard Griffiths during the curtain call.

Louise Jury in the London Evening Standard writes:

"Alex Jennings was near to tears at his West End first-night curtain call as he paid tribute to History Boys star Richard Griffiths who died after heart surgery.

At the Duchess Theatre, Jennings, appearing as playwright Alan Bennett in Untold Stories, announced that West End lights were dimmed earlier in the late actor’s honour, and added: “Richard Griffiths is irreplaceable.”

Griffiths, 65, who died last week, starred with Jennings in the premiere of Bennett’s The Habit of Art, about WH Auden and Benjamin Britten.Jennings hailed him as a “peerless” performer of Bennett’s work — “from the man in A Private Function feeding ginger biscuits to that pig, to The Habit of Art at the National and heavenly Hector in The History Boys”."

Full story at: London Evening Standard.