Dame Maggie Smith leaves “Downton Abby” behind long enough to portray a homeless woman suffering from mental illness who occupies a parked van in the driveway of acclaimed British writer, Alan Bennett. Smith played this role to much acclaim on the British stage in 1999 and again on BBC radio in 2009. Both the play and the movie were written by Bennett, based upon his own experiences. The director is Nicholas Hytner, who also collaborated with Bennett on “The Madness of King George” and “The History Boys.”

ON Take Two | February 19, 2016 | Fridays, 12:30 pm, Saturdays, 5:58 pm)

TAKE TWO: “The Lady in the Van” Highlights Homelessness

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Dame Maggie Smith leaves “Downton Abby” behind long enough to portray a homeless woman suffering from mental illness who occupies a parked van in the driveway of acclaimed British writer, Alan Bennett. Smith played this role to much acclaim on the British stage in 1999 and again on BBC radio in 2009. Both the play and the movie were written by Bennett, based upon his own experiences. The director is Nicholas Hytner, who also collaborated with Bennett on “The Madness of King George” and “The History Boys.”

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