Bennett’s Untold Stories are some you definitely need to hear

Reece Dinsdale stars as Alan Bennett in Untold Stories at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Reece Dinsdale stars as Alan Bennett in Untold Stories at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
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The West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Alan Bennett season has been packing out the auditoriums of both its stages since last month.

But it’s fittingly the more intimate Courtyard that is playing host to this telling of the Leeds writer’s memories of growing up in Armley, leaving for Oxford and ultimately the death of his parents.

The first half leads you gently into Bennett’s life, with Yorkshire-born actor Reece Dinsdale portraying the playwright recording a radio version of his memoirs with the accompaniment of a string quartet.

The second part introduces a fantastic cast of supporting actors - John Arthur and Majories Yates playing his parents Walter and Lillian and Kate Anthony and Simon Roberts in various guises as people from the Bennett family’s life.

But it’s Dinsdale himself that is the focal point of this brilliant production - his transformation into Alan Bennett is simply flawless.

The physical resemblance is uncanny; but his voice, speaking pattern, mannerisms and nuances of character are perfect. So much so that it really doesn’t take that long to forget you’re watching Reece Dinsdale and not Alan Bennett.

Equally hilarious and heartbreaking, Untold Stories is a real highlight of this fantastic Playhouse season.

l Until June 21. Go to www.wyp.org.uk for more information and booking.