Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire in first look at Talking Heads

Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire can be seen in first look images from the new productions of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues.

Monica Dolan, Tamsin Greig, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati, Maxine Peake, Rochenda Sandall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Imelda Staunton and Dame Harriet Walter also appear in retellings of 10 of the original pieces, as well as two new ones written by Bennett last year.

Kristin Scott Thomas (London Theatre Company/Zac Nicholson/BBC)

The contained nature of the monologues meant they could be filmed while following safe working practises during the coronavirus outbreak, using existing sets at BBC Elstree Studios.

Comer can be seen seated on the edge of a bed in a white blouse and large pearl earrings for her delivery of 1988’s Her Big Chance.

Jodie Comer (London Theatre Company/Zac Nicholson/BBC)

Freeman also perches on the edge of a bed, this time covered in a green bedspread, for his delivery of A Chip In The Sugar, while Lancashire sits at a kitchen table next to a pot of coffee for new work An Ordinary Woman.

Martin Freeman (London Theatre Company/Zac Nicholson/BBC)

The Talking Heads monologues first aired on the BBC in 1988 and 1998, and boasted a cast including Dame Patricia Routledge, Dame Maggie Smith, Stephanie Cole, Dame Julie Walters, Dame Thora Hird, Dame Eileen Atkins, David Haig and Dame Penelope Wilton, alongside Bennett himself.

The monologues won two Baftas, an RTS award and have also since been included on the A-level and GCSE English Literature syllabus.

Sarah Lancashire (London Theatre Company/Zac Nicholson/BBC)

The other new work, called The Shrine, will be performed by Dolan, in which she is also seated at a kitchen table.

Talking Heads will air on BBC One with a double-bill from 9pm on June 23.

Monica Dolan (London Theatre Company/Zac Nicholson/BBC)

All 12 films will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from the same date, with the series continuing on BBC One across the following weeks.

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