Alan Bennett’s layered new work The Habit of Art reunites WH Auden and Benjamin Britten – as well as a rent boy – in an imaginary meeting decades after both their artistic collaboration and their friendship had ended.

It’s a clever, sometimes sad, musing on sex, creativity, and diminishing powers, blessed with nuanced turns by Richard Griffiths and Alex Jennings.

But despite Bennett’s wit, erudition and comic skills, ultimately, The Habit Of Art lacks the vital spark to truly make it soar.


» Lyttelton at the National, South Bank, SE1 9PX, (020 7452 3000). Until Apr 6. £10-£42.50.