Play 2, 2014

Habeas Corpus

by Alan Bennett

directed by Brian Cannon


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Medicare meets the Marx Brothers
It will have you in stitches!

The Play

The big issue in England is National Health but there is another big issue – the permissive society, with its focus on the human body in all its glorious sexuality.
Some of us have the perfect body of course, and therefore we get the best life has to offer; but others miss out in various ways. So, if you want your share - you shall have the body.

The aging Dr. Arthur Wicksteed is ardently pursuing the nubile patient, Felicity Rumpers. While his wife, Muriel, is, in turn, lusting after the charming head of the BMA, Sir Percy Shorter, who, as well as being Wicksteed's old rival, turns out to be Felicity's father - the result of an under-the-table liaison during an air-raid.

The author was part of Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and this play is very much in the same vein, a satirical farce, and dangerously funny, and could offend some.

The Playwright


Alan Bennett is an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. He was born in Leeds and attended Oxford University where he studied history and performed with The Oxford Revue. He stayed to teach and research medieval history at the university for several years. His collaboration as writer and performer with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in the satirical revue Beyond the Fringe at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival brought him instant fame. He gave up academia, and turned to writing full-time, his first stage play Forty Years On being produced in 1968.

His work includes The Madness of George III and its film adaptation The Madness of King George, the series of monologues Talking Heads, the play and subsequent film The History Boys, and popular audio books, including his readings of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Winnie-the-Pooh.


Brian Cannon has directed and appeared in numerous plays for Villanova Players. In 2007 he directed the powerful The Beauty Queen of Leenane and in 2008, Edith Stein. Most recent Marvin's Room (2011). His most recent on stage appearances were in 2010 as the proud industrialist, Mr Birling, in An Inspector Calls, Henry in Cosi in 2009, the judge in To Kill a Mockingbird in 2005 and the swaggering, belligerent Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Brian has recently appeared in Tuesday's with Morrie at Centenary Theatre Group.


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