Maggie Smith is a marvel as Miss Shepherd, the eccentric elderly woman who parked her campervan in Alan Bennett's drive for a few weeks, and stayed for 15 years. Alex Jennings is a joy as Bennett, but this is Smith's film: her comically cantankerous exterior masking an inner sadness. There's fun, too, in the neighbours' perplexed reactions to her mucky presence. This small but big-hearted comic drama is a great alternative to the talking animations and blockbusters that fill the festive TV schedule.Paul Howlett, The Guardian, 24th December 2016
Maggie Smith doesn't need to do chat shows, so she usually doesn't. The latest coup for Graham Norton is that he's persuaded Smith to grace a TV sofa for the first time in 42 years, to discuss her new film, Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van - and to discuss the end of Downton Abbey, no doubt.
Alongside the Dame are her co-star Alex Jennings; Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, the two leads in new chef drama Burnt; and the ever-regal Cindy Crawford, who's 50 next year and has a coffee-table photo-memoir out. Justin Bieber more or less provides music.Jack Seale, Radio Times, 30th October 2015
The first series of Alistair Beaton's Electric Ink, originally broadcast in 2009, gets a welcome airing on Radio 4 Extra, with Robert Lindsay as the curmudgeonly Maddox Bradley, an ageing broadsheet journalist with an aversion to the technological revolution bearing down on him like an unstoppable avalanche.
His editor (Alex Jennings) insists he should contribute a blog to the paper's website, and launch his own podcast. "You must embrace the digital age," Jennings orders him. Maddox replies, "Couldn't I just wave to it from the other side of the room?"Nick Smurthwaite, The Stage, 12th August 2013
That's Mine, This Is Yours (Radio 4, Wednesday) was a wryly romantic comedy by Peter Souter whose success on radio (Goldfish Girl, for one) sent him rocketing off to ITV where writers with a gift for the wistful are not cherished as much as those whose scripts come dripping in murder. Here, with brilliant Tamsin Greig and Alex Jennings as the divorced couple meeting to divide up the leftovers of their marriage and clever Gordon House as director, he shone again.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 10th May 2011
Peter Souter's play is a romantic comedy. Alex Jennings and Tamsin Greig play a couple who are splitting up. They meet in their old, cold house to divide up their joint possessions. There's a locked sea chest, an old tandem, a little tin chicken that lays tin eggs, that sort of stuff. As they go through it all they're bound to think of how they got them (just like in that great song, Thanks For the Memory) and the icy atmosphere warms up. They know each other well. And this writer (remember his Goldfish Girl?) knows how funny that can be.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd May 2011
Return of Alistair Beaton and Tom Mitchelson's satire on the modern-day world of newspapers. It's not "hold the front page" any more, but rather "how many hits did that make on the website?" Yet everyone needs news and the electronic media still need print to feed from. So here's Oliver (Alex Jennings) sitting in the editor's chair, old school ace reporter Maddox (John Sessions) still turning up the splash stories but needing support from web whizz Freddy (Stephen Wight) who's really a posh lad (and rich with it) but talks street lingo for extra cred.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd December 2010
In 1796, hoping to cash in on public interest in a "lost" Shakespeare play said to have been found in an attic, Richard Brinsley Sheridan had outbid Covent Garden to stage Vortigern and Rowena at his own Drury Lane theatre. Melissa Murray's comedy follows in a fine Radio 4 tradition of tales of historic thespian folk with a backstage account of the play's first (and only) night. Here is Sheridan, peering at his sozzled nose in the mirror; the great actor Kemble, portrayed with just enough 18th-century luvvieness by Alex Jennings; and the cast and crew who know that if the play fails they won't get paid. The performance was a sell-out, for as Sheridan had observed to Kemble, "every Englishman considers himself as good a judge of Shakespeare as of his pint of porter". And he was right.Laurence Joyce, Radio Times, 3rd March 2010
Melissa Murray's witty play, based on a true story, is about how Richard Brinsley Sheridan (played by Lorcan Cranitch) is, in 1796, a producer down on his luck, needing some. He's been offered the find of a lifetime, a lost play by Shakespeare about an ancient British king and queen. His star, John Philip Kemble (brilliantly played by Alex Jennings) has agreed to take the lead. But what's this? The young man who claims to have "discovered" the play, William Henry Ireland (Rufus Wright) seems suspiciously familiar with the text.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd March 2010