The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her to temporarily park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home. She stayed there for 15 years.
The Lady in the Van is a British drama film adapted by Alan Bennett from his 1999 hit West End play of the same name, which was nominated at the 2000 Olivier Awards for Play of the Year. It is directed by Nicholas Hytner, who directed the original production at the Queen’s Theatre in London. Starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings, it tells the true story about an elderly woman called Mary Shepherd who lived in a battered car on the driveway of the writer Alan Bennett for 15 years. It has been selected to be shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Maggie Smith has played Miss Shepherd twice before, in the original 1999 theatrical production, which scored her a Best Actress nomination at the 2000 Olivier Awards, and in a 2009 Radio 4 adaptation. Principal photography began in North London in October 2014.
The Lady in the Van
Directed by: Nicholas Hytner
Starring: Maggie Smith, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Jim Broadbent, Frances de la Tour, Marion Bailey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Roger Allam, Eleanor Matsuura
Screenplay by: Alan Bennett
Production Design by: John Beard
Cinematography by: Andrew Dunn
Film Editing by: Tariq Anwar
Costume Design by: Natalie Ward
Set Decoration by: Niamh Coulter
MPAA Rating: PG – 13 for a brief unsettling image.
Music by: George Fenton
Studio: Sony TriStar Pictures
Release Date: December 11, 2015