The Habit of Art

The Habit of Art


Directed by Philip Franks

Starring Matthew Kelly and David Yelland

Please note this production is only available the UK and EU countries due to licensing restrictions.


'Exceptionally fine performances' TOP PICK, THE TIMES (Jan 2020)

'Original Theatre has done it complete justice. This is one of the most impressive theater webcasts' Wall Street Journal

‘The result is a take on life, sexuality, death and everything, that is witty, moving, laugh-aloud funny and understatedly profound… the cast uniformly stunning’ The Guardian/Observer ☆☆☆☆☆

‘Kelly and Yelland are on top form heading an ensemble who highlight the way that art is both magical and mundane… ambitious, revealing and hugely entertaining.’ The Times ☆☆☆☆

‘It’s sharp, and often funny, teasing and important. The play holds up, even better, ten years on.’ Libby Purves ☆☆☆☆

‘Thought-provoking and expertly played, this is not a production to be missed.’  Broadway World ☆☆☆☆☆

 ‘The whole cast  gave a performance that was both thought provoking and funny.’ Fairy Powered Productions ☆☆☆☆


Alan Bennett is one our greatest and most celebrated playwrights, with a cavalcade of stage and screen blockbusters including The History Boys, The Madness of King George and Talking Heads. He is applauded as a genius for his sharp character observations and treasured for the way he beautifully balances wit, wistfulness and compassion.

In The Habit of Art, Bennett gives us a play about a meeting between the poet WH Auden and the composer Benjamin Britten.

Exploring friendship, rivalry and heartache this multi layered masterpiece examines the joy, pain and emotional cost of creativity.

This production directed by Philip Franks marks the first ever revival of the play and stars the Olivier Award winning Matthew Kelly (Of Mice and MenToast and Pride and Prejudice) and David Yelland (Chariots of Fire and The Crown) with Veronica Roberts (Tenko, Peak Practice), Robert Mountford (Anita and Me), John Wark (Dead Sheep), Jessica Dennis (Henry Vand The Tempest, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre) and Benjamin Chandler (Passing From The Third Floor Back).


  • Running time: 115 mins  
  • Age guidance: 15+
  • Subtitles available in both English and Spanish

Watch anytime, as many times as you like until streaming ends.

Please Note - this is a high quality, three camera recording of our stage production of THE HABIT OF ART which was filmed for online days before lockdown.

The Original Theatre Company and The Anthology Group in association with Peter Stickney and York Theatre Royal

Watch trailer

The Habit of Art