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A BBC Cult Classic Enacted at San Miguel Playhouse


By Phoebe Greyson

Every American TV viewer who grew up watching public television can remember getting hooked on programs from the BBC—from serial dramas like The Forsyte Saga to comic fare like Fawlty Towers, and especially the treasures of Masterpiece Theatre, such as I, Claudius, Jeeves and Wooster, Prime Suspect, and the recent smash hit Downton Abbey. The erudition and wit of such series made watching them a guilt-free pleasure.

In the 1980s, British playwright and screenwriter Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George, The Lady in the Van) wrote a series of touching, often hilarious monologues for the BBC under the series name Talking Heads. New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley raved about Bennett’s “diamond-cut monologues,” and called his collection of short plays “genteel cult classics” that frequently left audiences “hooting with laughter.”

From September 20 to 23, four actors will present five of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues in two separate programs presented each day in a 2pm matinee and a 7pm evening performance.

Program 1 (matinees: Sept. 20 and 22; evenings: Sept. 21 and 23) consists of three short plays. In Waiting for the Telegram, veteran San Miguel de Allende actor Lola Smith plays Violet, a confused, elderly woman in a nursing home. The excited staff has told her she will soon be receiving a congratulatory telegram from the Queen in honor of her one-hundredth birthday. This only perplexes Violet, as she wanders far back in her memory to an age when telegrams brought news of death on a battlefield. In The Hand of God, Henrietta Weekes is Celia, a covetous antiques dealer who brazenly aids elderly neighbors for the sole purpose of acquiring their treasures on the cheap when they die. And in Bed Among the Lentils, Phoebe Greyson portrays Susan, an alcoholic vicar’s wife who is having an affair with a grocer.

Program 2 (matinees: September 21 and 23; evenings: September 20 and 22) consists of two one-act plays. Maggie Bunce stars in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet, about a middle-aged matron in an unorthodox relationship with her chiropodist, who pays her to model a variety of shoes to suit his own kinky purposes. In A Woman of No Importance, Phoebe Greyson plays Peggy, a woman who reigns over the photocopier in a large office complex and considers herself a vital cog in the wheels of order and bureaucracy—a cheerful self-delusion that persists after her failing health lands her in the hospital.

Synopses of the monologue and a full calendar of the rotating programs are available online at, at the Boleto City ticket kiosk at the Mercado Sano (second floor) at Ancha de San Antonio 123, and on all promotional material.

Tickets are 250 pesos for each program and 400 pesos for both programs combined. Tickets are available online (; at the door one hour before showtime; and at Boleto City, Tuesday through Saturday, 1–4pm. (Boleto City may be open additional days and hours; call 415 152 6432 for times.)

Want to see the video clips? Go to:



“Five By Bennett”

Thu–Sun, Sept 20–23, 2pm and 7pm

Evening performance each day

San Miguel Playhouse

Av Independencia 82


250 pesos for each program

400 pesos for both programs


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