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Talking Heads: Susan, Doris & Irene

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Other: Post show discussions: Wed 20 and Fri 22 June
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More Information on Talking Heads: Susan, Doris & Irene

Six of Alan Bennett’s iconic monologues are presented at the Playhouse in a celebration of one of Leeds’ best-loved playwrights. Graham, Peggy & Muriel and Susan, Doris & Irene are standalone events; audiences can enjoy one or both, and in any order. An iconic collection of witty, poignant and insightful reflections,Talking Heads is the uplifting and heart-warming finale to the current season on our Courtyard stage.

Bed Among the Lentils
A Cream Cracker Under the Settee
A Lady of Letters

Susan is a vicar’s wife who doesn’t necessarily believe in God, Doris lives alone, fiercely determined to maintain her independence and Irene loves nothing more than to pen a perfectly crafted letter.

Talking Heads will be performed as the final production in the Courtyard before redevelopment.

Listen to our audio flyer

Cast & Credits

Written by Alan Bennett / Directors James Brining, Amy Leach and John R. Wilkinson /

  • Cast Member Image
    Cate Hamer
    as Susan
  • Cast Member Image
    Vanessa Rosenthal
    as Irene
  • Cast Member Image
    Marlene Sidaway
    as Doris


“ Talking Heads is a superlative anthology of intimate, poignant drama”

- Entertainment Focus

“ The show is a wonderful celebration of the language of Leeds”

- Culture Vulture

“ geuinely superb [...] hits the audience with huge emotional power”

- The Reviews Hub

Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors