Alan Bennett

These are some extracts from a diary I kept in 1978 while rehearsing and filming a series of six plays for London Weekend Television. Some of the plays were shot on film, some in the studio. If I prefer working on film to working in the studio it is for reasons which are largely frivolous. Being on location with a unit, like being on tour with a play, concentrates the experience; one is beleaguered, often enjoyably so, and for a short while the film becomes the framework of one’s life. I am more gregarious than I like to think and to be working on a film in congenial company and in an unfamiliar place seems to me the best sort of holiday. In the studio this camaraderie and shared concern is more circumscribed. There are homes to go to, lives to be lived and the recording process is altogether more routine. For the studio staff it may be a play for today, but tomorrow it’s The South Bank Show and the day after Game for a Laugh. It’s work in a way that filming on location, however arduous, never quite is.

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