A Brush With Fame


alan bennett

It was the coat that gave it away. It wasn’t even that nice a coat, a grey, rumpled overcoat that wouldn’t look good on anybody.

On Monday, sat opposite me on the 18:17 from London St Pancras to Peterborough via Hitchin, was the multi-award-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor and author, Alan Bennett.

At first I wasn’t sure it was really him so I Googled his name and found the picture above.  Sure enough it WAS him and he was wearing the same overcoat as in the picture.

I didn’t talk to him and he didn’t talk to anyone because he was extremely busy. At first, he was reading things from his phone which occasionally made him smile, then he produced a handful of what looked liked scripts from his bag, gave them the once-over, put them away then pulled out a laptop computer and started typing on it. He didn’t look anywhere near his 84 years of age. Maybe that was because of the boyish, slightly quizzical expression he had on his face as he looked at the screen.

The thing that struck me about him was although he was silent, he gave off a positive, happy vibe. It was quite a contrast to the rest of the people on the train. They were heading home from their jobs they hate in London to the houses they can’t afford in the Home Counties. The only thing they had in common with Alan was that their faces were as grey and drawn out as his overcoat.

I couldn’t help thinking, was Alan Bennett so positive and content because he’s successful or is he successful because he projects a vibe of positivity and contentment?

Or is it because he just loves that coat?

Craic on!

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