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  • 2022AinscoughPhD

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'I am Alan Bennett': A personal journey through influence

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2022
Number of pages317
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis comprises an original five-part dramatic work, Alan, which represents a new creative engagement with Alan Bennett's literary career and authorial identity. It tells the story of Roger Gray, a man who believes he is Alan Bennett, or should have been. It traces the unpacking of Roger’s self in relation to Bennett and how he discovers identity amongst influence. The play seeks to mirror Bennett’s wide- reaching appeal through both humour and gentle sadness.

I explore the enduring popularity of Bennett and writing within his mode of Northern familiarity. The thesis puts a particular emphasis on the role of the queer and how writing with the influence of Bennett raises questions of what happiness means within queer storytelling. It builds towards a new methodology of the ‘Bennettian’ – that being my own personal interpretation of the feeling, aura or reminder of the life and work of Alan Bennett. I place an emphasis on my own personal connections to Bennett in the writing process. I will conclude that using a methodology of the ‘Bennettian’ allows space for sadness in contemporary queer storytelling and can be a method of navigating through personal history and influence.

Key Words: Alan Bennett, Queer, Theatre, Creative Writing.

Bibliographic note

Andrew Ainscough is a writer and musician based in Lancaster, England. In his creative work he is primarily a playwright exploring northern and queer voices. As an academic he explores the work and life of Alan Bennett.