Alan Bennett’s Diaries Armley Successor?

After the West Yorkshire Playhouse played Great Expectations last year I created a bit of a theme with a younger colleague I liked as a mostly nice and funny chap, calling him Pip.

Image result for magwitch

This was an example of my self-parody self-deprecating humour, while trying to raise the spirits of those around me with humour derived from my life and education knowledge… with this the writing version.

My claiming to have set up all the good things in his life, such as his new girlfriend and job, like Magwitch, was also a bit of a parody on those who claimed to be a good influence in my life, when I didn’t agree… and thought they were feeding off me instead, Cool Hand Luke style!

Sexuality Context Made Clear 

This blog post is devoid of sexuality, as my relationship with my colleague was. I know Bennett is gay, and write about him because I am not homophobic, while not being homosexual either; or even bisexual. For my sexual taste, please see the last two blog posts. I am single because Cressida or a woman like her hasn’t asked me out!

I have also been focusing on my writing and campaigning the past decade, so women have been of secondary importance. If something had happened it would have been nice, but would also have risked my writing ambition to finish the trilogy. It would be great to do both, but I’m not good at multitasking, so it would have been difficult.

Moreover, it would have been even less likely to have been credited to me, the chav philosopher, as most people don’t even believe an underclass Magwitch man like me can think and write like this in ever-more classist Blighty… especially when I’m often ADHD dull or distant in person.

I watched The Beat Beneath My Feet yesterday, and that told my story; the way I see it; pretty well, but to a music theme, a youth with creative talent and mental health and social issues trying to protect his work and showcase it to a wide audience.

If I’d become a wealthy star I could have concentrated on women now, but alas, that is not the case!

Great Expectations Alan Bennett Plot Twist

My Great Expectations plot took a twist in my mind over Christmas, classic Dickens time, when I saw that Alan Bennett was born in Armley, where they have nice sunrises (I’ve thought about doing an out-of-tune parody version of the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset for YouTube, but replacing it with Armley Sunrise; maybe I’ll get around to it one of these days…).

National treasure Bennett looks like an older version of dear local ‘Pip’, and Pip used to travel through Armley to see his girlfriend. So maybe a combination of working a couple of years with me and the Armley ghostly spirit of Alan Bennett’s childhood will rub off on young Pip and he’ll become a twenty-first century version of Bennett.

He had the innovative spirit and creative spark before meeting me, shown in video rather than writing, which is probably the platform for this century’s Alan Bennett. The legendary writer even greenYgreys and POPs (PinkyOrangePurple) on the cover of his new book:

Armley Decade

I’ve been writing the greenYgrey diaries for a decade from the edge of Armley, looking onto it, while Bennett has moved to London to write his diaries. I haven’t read any of Bennett’s work or even watched the documentary yet. 17 days to go.

It’s theme sounded greenYgreyish though, like XaW Files‘s mixture of personal thought and fantasy fiction. It was described by Tony Rennell as ‘half diaries of the past ten years (2005-2015 [roughly the whole greenYgrey years!]) half an assortment of pieces of writing about plays and the people he’s been involved with.’

I think Bennett’s writing has its merits and audience, and mine does too. For now, maybe I’m the closest to being Armley’s new current resident Alan Bennett!

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and some great big bookshops.


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